Health IT, telehealth groups support bill to expand telehealth under Medicare Advantage plans

Two health IT groups have expressed their support for the Increasing Telehealth Access in Medicare Act (H.R. 3727), a bill which unanimously passed the House Committee on Ways and Means Sept. 13.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Reps. Diane Black, R-Tenn., Doris Matsui, D-Calif., Susan Brooks, R-Ind., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., Ryan Costello, R-Pa., and Mike Thompson, D-Calif., would allow Medicare Advantage plans to cover Medicare Part B services delivered via telehealth.

Health IT Now, a coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, health payers and health IT companies, penned a letter to the bill's sponsors praising its unanimous passage Sept. 13. In the letter, Joel White, executive director for Health IT Now, thanked the lawmakers for their work to leverage technology for Medicare beneficiaries.

"Today's unanimous committee passage of this bipartisan legislation sends a powerful message that Congress is united in embracing the transformative potential of telehealth and in bringing Medicare Advantage into the 21st Century," Mr. White said in a Sept. 13 blog post.

The Alliance for Connected Care, a telehealth lobbying group, reached out committee members in support of the bill Sept. 12.

In a letter to Ms. Black and Mr. Thompson, Alliance for Connected Care Executive Director Krista Drobac wrote "telemedicine contributes to the value-based care goals of patient engagement, expanded hours for primary care, population health management and care coordination."

More articles on telehealth:

2 Florida hospitals provide free telehealth services through Friday

6 groups respond to telehealth expansion under 2018 proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

UCSF, Ibis Reproductive Health researchers: Tele-abortion no less safe than in-person consultation

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