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New Bill to Ease Medicare Restrictions on Telehealth Introduced in Congress

Posted on Monday, November 4, 2019 12:36 PM

Last week, a bill was introduced in both Houses of Congress that would make important changes to the application of telehealth in Medicare. 

The bill introduced is Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (S. 2741/H.R. 4932), and the bill’s sponsors promoted its strong bipartisan support, as it both increases access to care and saves the federal government money.  Many of the provisions of the bill will reduce the current restrictions on telehealth.

One of the key aspects of the bill is an allowance for face-to-face encounter via telehealth for recertifying a hospice beneficiary’s eligibility.

The legislation would also direct MedPAC to perform a study on the allowance of the home as an originating site. As of now, the home is not allowed to be an originating site largely negating telehealth in Medicare home health. The study would see how different payers allow the home to be an originating site for telehealth services. The study would also evaluate what services and beneficiary populations would be impacted by allowing the home as an originating site.

Source: NAHC Report

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