Congress seeks to eliminate barriers to telehealth

Friday, February 5, 2016

WASHINGTON – The Senate introduced a bill Feb. 2 that would lay the groundwork to expand Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, according to Bloomberg. The bill, S. 2484, would create a program that would waive for participating providers Medicare’s requirements that telehealth services occur at a qualified site and other restrictions. The House of Representatives introduced an identical bill Feb. 3. The “bridge program” would require participating providers to submit annual reports to the Department of Health and Human Services on how their expanded use of telehealth affected their bottom lines. These reports would be used to prove that telehealth could reduce Medicare spending under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, according to Bloomberg.