Senate passes Medicare telehealth expansion bill, CHRONIC Care Act

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would expand some programs created by the ACA for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions, reports The Hill.

The Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act (S.870) would change how CMS reimburses chronic conditions under Medicare by alleviating some restrictions. It would also expand in-home care to seniors, provide new tools to physicians to coordinate patient care and offer additional telehealth coverage under Medicare Advantage, including telestroke and home-dialysis.

"This legislation will improve disease management, lower Medicare costs and streamline care coordination services — all without adding to the deficit," the bill's sponsor, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said.

However, the Congressional Budget Office estimated in August the bill would increase federal spending in the short term before gradually reducing costs. The bill goes on to the House next for consideration.

More articles on telehealth: 

Baptist Health Corbin debuts teleICU services

Northwest Community Healthcare, Lurie Children's Hospital partner for pediatric emergency telemedicine

Telemedicine: A force multiplier in fighting the opioid epidemic

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