Atrius Health Joins Coalition Supporting CONNECT for Health Act
| Posted On Mar 03, 2016 | By: Atrius Health
Atrius Health is proud to join a national coalition of providers and organizations supporting federal telehealth legislation introduced earlier this month. The bipartisan bill, Senate bill 2484 and House bill 4442, the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, was introduced by Senators Schatz, Wicker, Cochran, Cardin, Thune and Warner and Representatives Black, Welch, and Harper.
The CONNECT for Health Act would:
- Create a bridge program to help providers transition to the goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) through using telehealth and RPM without most of the aforementioned 1834(m) restrictions;
- Allow telehealth and RPM to be used by qualifying participants in alternative payment models, without most of the aforementioned 1834(m) restrictions;
- Permit the use of remote patient monitoring for certain patients with chronic conditions;
- Allow, as originating sites, telestroke evaluation and management sites; Native American health service facilities; and dialysis facilities for home dialysis patients in certain cases;
- Permit further telehealth and RPM in community health centers and rural health clinics;
- Allow telehealth and RPM to be basic benefits in Medicare Advantage, without most of the aforementioned 1834(m) restrictions; and
- Clarify that the provision of telehealth or RPM technologies made under Medicare by a health care provider for the purpose of furnishing these services shall not be considered “remuneration.”
Atrius Health President & CEO Dr. Steven Strongwater recently wrote letters to members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation urging them to join their colleagues in supporting the bill.
“We are confident the use of telehealth will improve quality and help reduce healthcare costs for patients by preventing avoidable hospitalizations and re-hospitalizations. In addition, we believe increased use of telehealth by providers will also result in improved patient (and provider satisfaction), and will dramatically increase patient access to primary care providers, specialists and other clinicians at a time where Massachusetts and the country are experiencing shortages of these providers,” Dr. Strongwater noted.