- Sources say that additional Medicare pay for telehealth sources will not be part of the 21st Century Cures package, expected to be revealed in the next few weeks.
- Some sources cited the Congressional Budget Office's scoring system as a challenge to the provision, although Krista Drobac, who heads the Alliance for Connected Care, said that "telemedicine stakeholders came up with reams of ideas and data that would pass CBO muster."
- Another source noted that the language may still be included in the final package and that the committee is trying to downplay industry expectations.
Telehealth advocates have been pushing for a package that includes a separate Medicare billing code for remote patient-monitoring, and the original discussion draft unveiled in January does include a provision from a Energy and Commerce workgroup that would expand Medicare beneficiaries' access to telehealth services.
But with telehealth still a political hot potato, it would be difficult to draft sweeping language in this kind of package. Especially with some states (like Texas) still playing a very conservative game about what constitutes an appropriate doctor-patient relationship. Stay tuned.