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Bill Would Boost Telehealth Use for Medicare Providers

September 13, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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A bill was introduced this week in Congress that would permit in-state license Medicare providers to utilize telemedicine services for Medicare beneficiaries elsewhere.

The “Telemedicine for Medicare Act of 2013,” was introduced by Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA 22) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ 6). Quite simply, the law allows for a Medicare participating physician or practitioner to provide telemedicine services to Medicare beneficiaries in another state, allowing them to forgo any requirement that they obtain a comparable license in that state.

This bill builds on the STEP Act for the Department of Defense health professionals, which is pending congressional vote, would allow enable Department of Veterans Affairs health professionals to serve any veteran in the U.S. without unnecessary cost and time delays of multiple state licenses through the use of telemedicine. The American Telemedicine Association is a big supporter of both bills.

"We urge Congress to expand this licensure model for telemedicine to other federal agencies and health benefit programs," Jonathan Linkous, ATA Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement "Patients should all be able to receive the best and most convenient care available, regardless of geographic location."

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