May 05 2017

New Bill Looks to Expand Telemedicine Access

The CONNECT for Health Act of 2017 aims to expand telemedicine access and use of digital tools for Medicare recipients.

Six senators have reintroduced a bill that aims to promote cost savings and quality care in Medicare through telehealth and remote patient monitoring. The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2017 was originally introduced in 2016 and builds on another recently introduced telehealth bill, the CHRONIC Care Act, which looks to expand reimbursement for the use of live video-conferencing systems to enhance at-home care for Medicare recipients.

“The CONNECT for Health Act provides a carefully crafted approach to begin helping countless American Medicare recipients realize the benefits of connected health technology,” said Morgan Reed, executive director of The App Association, Health Data Management reports. “By lifting arduous limitations on the use of telehealth and empowering Medicare physicians to utilize innovative remote monitoring technologies, responsible and secure connected health solutions may be introduced more broadly throughout the continuum of care to improve patient health outcomes.”

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society also weighed in on the bill, applauding the possible legislation.

“We believe the CONNECT for Health Act will modernize healthcare delivery for Medicare beneficiaries by removing barriers to the use of telehealth and other healthcare technologies such as remote patient monitoring, resulting in greater access to high-quality care, improved continuity of care and better value for patients and the Medicare program,” HIMSS said in a statement.