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

  • Ted Cruz Should Make the Case for Telemedicine

    TIME

    Telemedicine offers convenience, quality, cost savings and remote access.  Ted Cruz won Iowa’s Republican presidential caucus promising to repeal every word of Obamacare. When pressed for details, he said he would separate insurance from employment, expand the use of health savings accounts, and allow people to purchase insurance across state lines. These are good ideas, ones we’ve heard before. There are, however, a number of other policy initiatives worthy of attention, whether the Affordable Care Act is repealed or not. There’s one simple thing Congress could do that would expand access to high-quality care, especially for patients in rural areas, without costing taxpayers a dime. Telemedicine providers, which uses telecommunication to provide health care over distances, have made great strides in improving access to care for rural communities. Telemedicine allows quick access to specialists, as with stroke victims where time is of the essence. Video interactions are expected to replace a sizable chunk of face-to-face office visits. But the current system of state licensing stands in the way of interstate practice. Physicians must maintain licenses in each state in which they treat patients. Congressional action to define the location of telemedicine services as the location of the physician would allow physicians to practice with a single license in multiple states. It would allow telemedicine to achieve its full potential.

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  • Telemedicine-based Prescriptions Gain Favor in Indiana

    mHealth Intelligence

    House Bill 1263, submitted on Jan. 11, passed last week by a healthy 74-24 vote, and now faces Senate scrutiny. If enacted, it would place Indiana among the leaders in telemedicine access for prescription services. As written, the bill would allow physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses to issue prescriptions via telemedicine as long as the provider and patient have first established a relationship – which can also be done via telemedicine. To meet that requirement, a provider must obtain consent from the patient, study the patient’s medical history, discuss the diagnosis and treatment options and a plan for follow-up care and creating a medical record. The bill would exclude abortion services via telemedicine, the prescription of controlled substances and vision services provided by fax, e-mail, instant messaging or phone or audio-only communications.Among the opponents is State Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, who worried the legislation would open the door to over-prescription and pave the way for out-of-state companies to flood the market with easily available drugs.

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  • Telehealth Rallies Behind the CONNECT Act

    mHealth Intelligence

    Long-anticipated and heavily hyped, the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act targets a big roadblock in the healthcare ecosystem’s adoption of telehealth – Medicare, and its confusing and sometimes antiquated restrictions for telehealth access and reimbursement. If approved, it would give providers the freedom to experiment with telehealth in alternative payment models and incentive programs and expand remote patient monitoring programs for chronic care, remote and underserved populations. Senate bill  S.2484  sponsored by Sens. Brian Schatz (D- Hawaii), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Warner, (D-Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Thad Cochran ((R-Miss.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), essentially gathers most of the strong points of previous bills and consolidates them into one targeted piece of legislation designed to remove the barriers that have kept health systems from adopting telehealth technology. A companion bill in the House is being co-sponsored by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “Telehealth is the future of healthcare.  It saves money and improves health outcomes,” Schatz said in a press release.  “Our bipartisan bill puts us on a path to transform healthcare delivery, making it less costly and more convenient for patients and providers.”

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