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brown gavel with stethoscope and books

Proposed Bill Would Boost SNF Telemedicine

A new bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to permit the use of telemedicine in treating patients in long-term care centers such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). The Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations Act of 2018 (RUSH Act) is intended to reduce hospital admissions by allowing Medicare to enter into value-based care arrangements with medical groups to provide health care through telemedicine consultations; this would increase access to care in SNFs, particularly emergency care, thus reducing the need for hospital visits. Instead, SNF telemedicine would address the urgent situation on the spot. Read more

businessman touching internet concept

How Does the Net Neutrality Repeal Affect Telemedicine?

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 along partisan lines to repeal the 2015 ruling that instituted net neutrality. When the repeal takes effect in February, internet service providers (ISPs) will no longer be prohibited from blocking or slowing particular web content, or from charging distinct prices for different connection speeds. While some experts welcome the freedom of an open internet, transparency rules, and the stimulation of business development, others are more skeptical of the ramifications of such a move on the telemedicine industry and its patients. Read more

sad girl outdoors

Harvey’s Youngest Evacuees Saved by Newest Telemedicine Legislation

It’s a good thing that Texas just passed a law easing restrictions on telemedicine visits; otherwise, countless children displaced by Hurricane Harvey would likely be unable to receive prompt medical care for recent injuries, infections, or chronic conditions like asthma. Luckily, the new telemedicine legislation permits real-time visits without an initial in-person visit, allowing doctors across the state to see the children through the technology. Read more

Telemedicine Benchmark Survey Reveals the State of the Industry

A new telemedicine industry benchmark survey, published by REACH Health, reveals the state of the industry and where it’s headed. Respondents include healthcare executives, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in various organizations with revenues varying from under $50 million to over $1 billion. Read more

illustration of man having stroke

Telestroke Bill Would Expand Medicare Coverage

Congress is revisiting a bill that seeks to extend Medicare reimbursement for telestroke services across the nation. Under the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act, Medicare would cover telestroke services regardless of the patient’s location; currently, coverage only encompasses specific rural areas. Read more

Report Card: Most Improved A+

ATA’s Annual Reports Reveal Growth in Telemedicine Adoption

Last week, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) issued its yearly reports of telemedicine coverage, reimbursement, and standards across the country. In general, telemedicine has consistently become an accepted tool by patients, providers, and third-party payers in all states, with improved coverage and reimbursement in several states. Some state legislatures are removing restrictive requirements for physician practice standards, even allowing them to practice telemedicine across state lines. Read more

Stethoscope and gavel

Telemedicine Legislation Heartily Embraced by Senate

A telemedicine initiative from New Mexico may soon become a nationwide program. Earlier this week, the Senate unanimously approved the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act, which champions the system developed five years ago at the University of New Mexico (UNM) to increase access to specialists in rural, underserved regions. Read more

rubber stamp marked with regulation

Telemedicine Regulation Is Coming to New Jersey

Last week, a New Jersey Senate committee unanimously approved a bill that would regulate the telemedicine industry. The proposed legislation compels payment parity, safeguards the prescribing of addictive medications, and calls for the State Board of Medical Examiners to determine the specific criteria for telemedicine regulation. Read more

Rhode Island State House

Rhode Island to Require Payment Parity for Telemedicine

This summer, Rhode Island became the 31st state to require payment parity for telemedicine services. The new law, the Rhode Island Telemedicine Coverage Act, requires commercial health plans to reimburse for telemedicine-provided services at the same rates at which they pay for in-person visits. Read more

Gavel on open book

AMA Endorses Telemedicine Bill

Consumers aren’t the only ones who are clamoring for the more convenient healthcare—it seems that doctors are, too. On February 3, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced its support for the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, a telemedicine bill that aims to increase patients’ access to providers and reduce healthcare costs. Read more