- A new bipartisan bill, called the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, would expand telehealth services through Medicare.
- According to a press release issued by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), a co-sponsor of the bill, the legislation would help providers meet the goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) through telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM); expand RPM for certain patients with chronic conditions; increase telehealth in community health centers and rural health clinics; and make telehealth and RPM basic benefits of Medicare Advantage.
- A recent study by Avalere, a healthcare consulting firm, estimates the legislation would save Medicare $1.8 billion over 10 years.
The new bill is backed by more than 50 organizations, according to Sen. Schatz's news release, including the American Medical Association (AMA).
"This bill would ensure that patients and their physicians are able to use new technologies that remove barriers to timely quality care," AMA president Dr. Steven Stack said. "Importantly, the bill would maintain high standards whether a patient is seeing a physician in an office or via telemedicine. We look forward to working with other supporters to advance the legislation in Congress."
Companion legislation has been introduced in the House.
The telehealth market, according to Ken Research, is expected to reach $38.5 billion in revenue by 2018, as reported by The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism.