Legislation would expand telehealth services for Medicare patients with COPD

Reps. TJ Cox, D-Calif., Mike Thompson, D-Calif., Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Earl Carter, R-Ga., introduced legislation that would allow respiratory therapists to serve as telehealth practitioners for Medicare patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The legislation will establish a three-year pilot program that allows respiratory therapists to use telehealth technology to deliver disease management services to Medicare COPD patients. Congress and CMS will evaluate the pilot to determine whether it can improve patient care outcomes while reducing costs.

"It's critical now more than ever that we expand telehealth services and ensure all Americans have equal access to the best care and treatments no matter where they live," Mr. Cox said in a news release. "Through patient education, self-management assistance and timely access to care, this bill ensures patients can receive care in the comfort of their own home, while reducing the financial burden on Medicare."

More articles on telehealth:
Appalachian Regional Healthcare rolls out systemwide ICU telemedicine services
Is telehealth's next step avatars for patients in rehabilitation?
Texas VA clinic adds telehealth services for mental healthcare

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