New Telehealth Legislation Seeks to Expand Medicare Coverage

From HealthLeaders Media:

Support for telehealth is breaking political barriers in the nation’s Capitol. In a bipartisan, bicameral initiative, legislation to expand telehealth services through Medicare was introduced yesterday, led by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), with a companion bill presented to the House of Representatives.

Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 aims to improve health outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their doctors, and help cut costs for patients and providers, according to a news release issued by Schatz’s office.

The bill includes provisions to remove geographic and originating site restrictions for services like mental health and emergency medical care, enhance the ability of rural health clinics and other community-based healthcare centers to provide telehealth services, and provide the secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to waive telehealth restrictions when necessary. It also requires a study to explore ways to expand telehealth services to enable more people to access healthcare services in their homes.

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