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ATA, Others Lobby Burwell for Eased Telemedicine Restrictions

June 9, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and a number of healthcare IT organizations have sent a letter to new HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell, asking for her waive the regulatory restrictions on the use of telemedicine.

ATA, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and ten other stakeholders—including associations, vendors, and healthcare providers—wrote the letter to Secretary Burwell asking for the restrictions on telemedicine in the Social Security Act to include the technology in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Restrictions make it so the only ones who can use telemedicine for reimbursement are those who are catering to rural beneficiaries (which applies to less than 20 percent of the Medicare population).

The stakeholders also requested comment on the use of telemedicine and remote monitoring solutions by accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the forthcoming notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the MSSP. The stakeholders told Burwell, who has the authority to waive those restrictions, that telemedicine and remote monitoring technology is needed to address the full potential of a health information technology infrastructure.  Currently, they write, the restrictions are discouraging providers from using telemedicine and remote health monitoring.

ATA was not the only group to send a letter to Secretary Burwell. The Alliance for Connected Care wrote a similar note requesting many of the same things.



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