Telemedicine Updates from Washington, DC – Policy & Medicine

15March 2021

We wish to report on two current telehealth-related stories. Initially, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission(MedPAC)seem split about how to progress with telehealth after the COVID-19 public health emergency situation. In addition, in a late relocation from the Trump Administration,$8 million was recently allocated to a telehealth broadband pilot program. MedPAC Torn on Telehealth Members of MedPAC, a prominent congressional advisory committee on Medicare, appear torn on how finest to control telehealth after the COVID-19 public health emergency situation , meaning the problem Washington deals with as it aims to impose guardrails on virtual care without limiting its usage after the pandemic ends. During a January virtual meeting, MedPAC revealed its assistance of telehealth broadly, but numerous members kept in mind snowballing use of the brand-new technique might develop more fraud and abuse in the system down the line. Key concerns of just how much Medicare reimburses for telehealth sees and what type of visits are paid for won't be quickly addressed, MedPAC commissioners kept in mind. “This is an actually, really difficult nut to split,”Michael Chernew, MedPAC chairman and a healthcare policy teacher at Harvard Medical School, stated.” I don't think what we've

made with the pandemic can be thought about pilot testing. I believe a lot of this is likely to go forward no matter what we do because the gate has actually been opened, and it

‘s going to be actually hard to close it, “Marjorie Ginsburg, creator of the Center for Healthcare Decisions, stated. But” I see this simply taking off into more fraud and abuse than we can even begin envisioning.” Associated Posts Trump Administration Rolled out Money to Improve Rural Telehealth We had not covered this previously, but want to note the Trump administration's$8 million for enhancements to telehealth services via broadband in backwoods. It was revealed in early January. The HealthResources and Services

Administration (HRSA), part of the Department of Health and Human

Services, granted the funding to the Telehealth Broadband Pilot( TBP)program. That program will examine the broadband capacity available to rural healthcare service providers and client neighborhoods to enhance their access to telehealth services. “HHS has made it a priority to change rural health care, consisting of through innovations like telehealth, where we've seen many years' worth of development in just the previous year,”said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan in a declaration.”As somebody who hails from rural America, supporting delivery of care in the most remote parts of America, like Alaska, is an individual passion of

mine, and telehealth is a vital part of that work. This telehealth pilot program is part of the Rural Action Plan that HHS released this past year, which lays out a course forward to coordinate firm efforts to change and improve rural healthcare in concrete methods.”The majority of the funds,$6.5 million, will go to the National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center(TTAC)to improve telehealth gain access to in

Alaska, Michigan, Texas, and West Virginia.Source: policymed.com

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