House committee approves bill to support nationwide telehealth for VA

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The House Committee on Veterans Affairs approved legislation Nov. 2 that would enable the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to extend physicians' medical licenses across state lines, according to the Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

The bill represents the first step to expanding the department's telehealth capabilities by ensuring specialists at VA facilities in one state can offer services to patients residing elsewhere. President Donald Trump and VA Secretary David J. Shulkin, MD, pledged in August to expand the use of telehealth under a nationwide program called VA Video Connect, branded with the tagline "anywhere to anywhere."

"As you may know, [the] VA already has the largest telehealth program in the country," Dr. Shulkin said at the time, noting the VA served 700,000 veterans via telehealth last year. "We're going to be issuing a regulation that allows our VA providers to provide telehealth services from anywhere in the country to veterans anywhere in the country."

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