WASHINGTON, DC (December 3, 2018): Health IT Now - a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting the use of data and health information technology to improve healthcare - responded today to the release of a new report from the Trump administration entitled, "Reforming America's Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition."
The report includes more than 50 recommendations that Congress, the administration, and states can take to improve healthcare choice and competition, including several recommendations related to telehealth services. Among the administration's suggestions: improving license portability to create additional opportunities for telehealth practice and modifying reimbursement policies that impede telehealth coverage in federal health programs - such as Medicare's originating site requirements.
Health IT Now Senior Director of Government Affairs Catherine Pugh released the following statement:
"In a 21st-century healthcare system that does right by patients, access to telehealth services must not be a luxury for the few, but rather a standard benefit that is integrated across federal health programs. That is why Health IT Now led the successful fight for the telehealth expansion in this year's Bipartisan Budget Act, is championing inclusion of the RUSH Act in a year-end funding measure, and worked to ensure that licensure laws don't stand in the way of access to technology-enabled care with the enactment of the VETS Act," said HITN Senior Director of Government Affairs Catherine Pugh. "Health IT Now endorses the recommendations in this report related to expanding telehealth services because we cannot allow this critical model of care delivery to be impeded by bureaucratic rules or geographic boundaries. We support the adoption of mutual recognition compacts among physicians - like those widely adopted in the nursing profession - to create additional opportunities for telehealth practice, as the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact is not broad enough on its own to improve license portability. Health IT Now thanks the administration for its diligent work on this document and looks forward to our continued work together leveraging the power of telehealth to lower health costs and improve outcomes."