Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring
State of Play: Telemedicine continues to move from the periphery of healthcare to the mainstream. Earlier this year, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) concluded that the technology likely improves access to care and has clinical benefits in acute and chronic care. As telemedicine becomes more recognized, its role in healthcare is growing. Uses of the technology are going beyond the four walls of the hospital, delivery is becoming less reliant on payer-based models, and government bodies and policymakers are embracing telemedicine-friendly regulation and government-funded programs.
HLC Position: HLC believes payment for telehealth services should always connect to the type of service being provided, not the setting in which it is provided, so providers are able to choose the delivery system that is most effective for each patient. HLC supports removing payment and regulatory barriers that prevent the use of telemedicine in this manner. HLC also believes data-related policies should continue to improve telehealth and remote patient monitoring services. Telemedicine is one facet of a strategy to enable more beneficiaries to receive healthcare within their own homes rather than in a healthcare facility – improving the patient experience while reducing costs and freeing up capacity in health facilities for more acute cases.
HLC Recent Activity:
- On October 3, HLC wrote the Senate Special Committee on Aging in support of its hearing, “Patient Focused Care: A Prescription to Reduce Health Care Costs.” The letter supported using telehealth to increase access to better quality care and decrease healthcare costs.
- On September 24, HLC wrote the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) in support of its hearing on “Health Care in Rural America: Examining Experiences and Costs.” The letter supported removing regulatory barriers to the use of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, particularly in rural America.
- HLC continues to collaborate with the Diabetes Advocacy Alliance to advocate for a virtual Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program.
- Following HLC advocacy on behalf of the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, Congress passed the bill as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act. This bill includes telehealth provisions for Medicare Advantage.
- HLC collaborates with other health and technology organizations in a multistakeholder telehealth and remote patient monitoring working group that meets regularly to coordinate on key regulatory and legislative telehealth activities.
- On July 31, HLC wrote the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee in support of its hearing on “Reducing Healthcare Costs: Decreasing Administrative Spending.” The letter supported using telehealth to increase access to better quality care and decrease healthcare costs.
- On June 11, HLC cosigned a letter to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, advocating for remote monitoring innovations in the Medicare program. The letter also encouraged CMS to consider new digital health Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for telemedicine services.
- On May 24, HLC wrote the Senate Finance Committee supporting its hearing on “Rural Healthcare in America: Challenges and Opportunities.” The letter advocated removing regulatory barriers to increase the use of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring, particularly in rural areas.
- On May 10, HLC signed a letter from the Connected Health Initiative supporting CMS reimbursement for virtual diabetes prevention providers to increase access to care in rural areas and underserved communities.