The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • Payers Push Congress to Expand Medicare Telemedicine

    Health Leaders Media

    Eleven of the nation's largest commercial plans offer to share their data and experience on cost-savings and improved access to care with the Congressional Budget Office, as Congress crafts legislation to expand telemedicine within Medicare.  Commercial health insurance companies are offering to share their data on the value of telemedicine to federal actuaries who are estimating the cost of expanding remote coverage under Medicare. "We view telemedicine as an important tool in increasing consumer access to high quality, affordable healthcare, improving patient satisfaction and reducing costs" 11 commercial payers said in a letter this week to Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall. "We believe our experience in the commercial market can inform estimates of the impact of policy changes in Medicare." Telemedicine in Medicare is reimbursable only on under a narrow set of circumstances, but Congress is examining ways to expand it. Any legislation to expand Medicare telemedicine that comes with a price tag attached will require scoring by the CBO, which has limited experience in estimating the value and cost of telemedicine because of the federal government's limited exposure. 


  • How Telehealth Can Enable Big Declines in Readmission Rates

    HealthData Management

    High readmission rates are a $17 billion problem across the U.S. for hospital administrators. What’s even more alarming is that a portion of 30-day readmissions are preventable. According to a recent University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 27 percent of readmissions could be avoided. This study shows that hospitals must improve communications between patients, physicians, hospitals and primary care providers, while providing better post-discharge resources. Upon discharge, if a patient is readmitted within 30 days, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires payment from the hospital because of the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which penalizes preventable readmissions. However, the burden of keeping abreast of each patient’s unique recovery isn’t an easy task for both providers and hospitals.Imagine that, as a patient, you are sent home from the hospital with a stack of discharge papers. Are you more likely to read every sheet carefully or to put those information sheets in a corner, never to be looked at again? Solutions to the readmissions problem are emerging in today’s market, and they are designed to support the management and monitoring of every patient’s unique recovery during their most critical time post-discharge from the hospital—the first 30 days. 


  • Texas Drops Appeal Against Teladoc Lawsuit

    Modern Healthcare

    Texas and its state medical board on Monday withdrew their appeal that questioned whether Teladoc could challenge the state's controversial telemedicine restrictions. The Texas Medical Board said its board on Friday voted to withdraw the appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. The board had vehemently opposed Teladoc's suit that alleges the state's telemedicine rules violate federal antitrust laws, launching an unusual appeal after a lower court refused to dismiss Teladoc's case. The board's proposed rule requires physicians to meet with patients in person before they can treat them remotely, or another provider must be physically present during the first telemedicine appointment to establish a doctor-patient relationship. Lewisville, Texas-based Teladoc maintains that the board violated the law because federal antitrust laws require the board to be supervised by the state in order to create the rules, which the company maintains will affect access to care. According to the board, the restrictions are to ensure quality of care. But the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission recently took Teladoc's side in the dispute, telling the 5th Circuit the state rules were anticompetitive and lacked appropriate review.  The federal agencies encouraged the appeals court to reject the medical board's appeal and maintained the underlying rule should be eliminated.