Health IT Now Scores Wins for Patients in Continuing Resolution

CR/Medicare “extenders” bill marks victory for coalition’s advocacy efforts by including telehealth provisions long championed by Health IT Now

WASHINGTON, DC (February 6, 2018): Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – responded to the release of Congressional Republicans’ proposed Continuing Resolution, which would fund the government through March 23rd while also providing funding for a number of Medicare extenders and enacting several Health IT Now-supported reforms, including: 

  • H.R. 1148, the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine Act of 2017, which would provide nationwide access to stroke telemedicine (also called “telestroke”) treatment in Medicare – currently only available to the most rural, underserved populations
     
  • H.R. 3120 (no title), legislation to ease the “meaningful use” burden on providers and reduce the volume of future electronic health record-related significant hardship requests
     
  • H.R. 3164 (no title), which would improve access to telehealth-enabled home dialysis therapy among Medicare beneficiaries
     
  • H.R. 3727, the Increasing Telehealth Access in Medicare Act, which would allow Medicare Advantage plans to include delivery of telehealth services in a plan’s basic benefits
     
  • Telehealth provisions of S. 870, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement:

“Every last item of legislation that Health IT Now championed in our year-end letter to House leadership made its way into this funding package – a true testament to the strength of Health IT Now’s membership and advocacy efforts,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White. “More importantly, however, this bill is a win for patients and providers who depend on a competitive, 21st Century Medicare program that allows beneficiaries to tap into the technology of today to improve their wellbeing tomorrow. For too long, Medicare has lagged behind other health payers in covering and reimbursing telehealth services. These reforms are the beginning of a much-needed shift that will pay dividends in better healthcare outcomes and reduced costs. While there is more work left to be done this year – including advancing our technology-enabled agenda to fight opioid misuse – this bill marks a significant step in the right direction and deserves swift passage in Congress.”

Previously:
7/13/17: Health IT Now Supports Bill to Ease Meaningful Use Burden on Providers
9/13/17: Health IT Now Praises Bipartisan, Committee-Passed Telehealth Bill
11/6/17: Health IT Now Urges Telehealth Expansion in Year-End Medicare Legislation
 

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About Health IT Now: 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, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.