The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act
Last month, Senators Gardner (R-CO) and Peters (D-MI) introduced S. 2343, another attempt to pass telehealth Federal regulations. The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act states that selected hospitals would be allowed to test out telemedicine services to Medicare beneficiaries in cooperation with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The bill was established for CMMI to test the cost, effectiveness and quality of telemedicine services, and if successful, this would eventually turn into a service covered by Medicare. The goal is to expand healthcare access, particularly hospital access, for rural communities.
It will be interesting to see if this bill will gain momentum as recent legislation requiring the CMMI to test the effect of telemedicine services in Medicare healthcare delivery reform models failed in 2015. Yet, considering the fluidity of healthcare policy today, telemedicine remains a priority for many in Congress.
Most likely the expansion of telemedicine in Medicare will ultimately depend on two main considerations: the payment rates established for those services and whether those services would substitute for other Medicare-covered services or would be used in addition to currently covered services. With this understanding, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has emphasized the need to study the efficacy and cost-savings of telemedicine as evidence of the effects of the coverage in the traditional Medicare programs is limited.
We look forward to seeing broader acceptance and use of telemedicine, and we believe the advancement of legislation like The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act is an excellent first step.
ATA 2017 – Telehealth 2.0
We had the pleasure of attending the annual ATA 2017 International Conference & Tradeshow this week. Telehealth 2.0 is the world’s largest telehealth innovation and networking conference that was held in Orlando, Florida this year. The event provides a hands-on perspective showcasing the role telehealth plays in advancing medicine, healthcare and wellness. At the intersection of advancement and technological innovation, Telehealth 2.0 allows healthcare professionals and industry leaders to learn, network and exchange ideas.
Our team received incredible feedback at the conference on our new telehealth application, InDemand Clarity-Connect, which enables healthcare professionals and telehealth application providers to seamlessly add live, medically qualified interpreters into telehealth sessions on demand, making it possible for telehealth programs to better serve the needs of LEP, Deaf and HOH patients. InDemand is the first VRI provider to integrate its VRI service with the industry leading Vidyo ® videoconferencing platform, InDemand Clarity-Connect, providing the Healthcare industry with a no cost, ‘industry-neutral’ solution to integrate VRI with telehealth encounters.
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