Health IT Now Criticized Draft Telehealth Working Group Language

Washington, D.C. – The Health IT Now Coalition criticized draft telemedicine language released Monday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s “telehealth working group” as a step backward on interstate licensure and reimbursement.

“Health IT Now appreciates the attention to this important issue, but we are afraid the draft bill does not go far enough to incent telemedicine in Medicare.  We look forward to working with the bill’s sponsors and the Committee to improve the draft legislation,” said Joel White, executive director of the Health IT Now Coalition. “We are especially disappointed that the draft bill continues to rely on state compacts in addressing burdensome state medical licensure system. We know state compacts take a long time to agree to and many states don’t sign them. So, relying on a compact agreement means some progress in some states for certain beneficiaries, but not others, and only after years of delay. Or worse, it is just as likely that we would never see agreement across states.”

Expanding quality and affordable health coverage through telemedicine has long been a priority for Health IT Now. If Congress works to reduce barriers to access, the promise of telemedicine can be realized for millions of patients across the U.S.

“One bright spot within the draft language is the transition to bundling and other new payment models,” White added.  “We believe the bill is a great step in the right direction in addressing Medicare’s outmoded treatment in how it incentivizes telemedicine.”

 

About the Health IT Now Coalition:  Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, provider performance, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.

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