Washington, D.C. – The Health IT Now Coalition applauded legislators including Senator Cory Gardner for raising the issue of state physician licensure and the TELE-MED Act during yesterday’s hearing, Advancing Telehealth Through Connectivity.
“Health IT Now is thrilled with the bipartisan support telehealth receive this week before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, convened by Senator Roger Wicker,” said Joel White, Executive Director of Health IT Now. “In particular, we’re encouraged that Senator Steve Daines and Senator Gardner highlighted a major barrier to telehealth: state-by-state physician licensure. Senator Gardner went one step further, mentioning the TELE-MED Act, which Health IT Now fully supports as one critical step toward breaking down the licensure barrier and increasing access to telehealth.”
As Health IT Now has long held, Congress must recognize that Medicare providers, as a federal program, should be treated like providers within the Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs programs with regards to licensure. Medicare providers should be able to see patients across state lines without the requirement to obtain multiple state licenses. Furthermore, telehealth visits should not be automatically reimbursed at the same amount as in-person visits.
“Health IT Now believes that the use of technology in health care can lower costs,” White continued. “And we believe that this should be taken into consideration when developing reimbursement rates for services provided via telehealth.”
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.