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Connected Health Initiative Outlines Federal Policy Recommendations

May 14, 2018
by Heather Landi
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ACT | The App Association's Connected Health Initiative (CHI) recently submitted a letter to the White House outlining a number of recommendations for telehealth and connected health technologies.

The letter follows a recent telehealth briefing held by CHI, and is in response to a White House official's request for recommendations that support telehealth adoption, but do not require congressional action or new regulation. In the letter, the group argues that the government can stimulate the sector through several policy levers.

The group would like to see the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) create new CPT codes and adopt unbundled CPT codes that value the use of remote monitoring as well as waive telehealth restrictions for shared savings programs and alternative payment models (APMs) and accountable care organizations (ACOs) election to ensure there are no limits on the use of store-and-forward technologies. The organization also recommends that CMS offer waivers and incentive payments more broadly to Medicare providers to optimize multiple provider types and support virtual Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) and include CDC-recognized virtual diabetes prevention program providers in the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP).

In the context of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) implementation, CHI recommends that CMS use an outcome-based approach to support the inclusion of telehealth and remote monitoring within the Quality Payment Program and support CMS’ adoption of the Connected Health Initiative’s MIPS improvement activity, which supports doctor’s review of patient generated health data. The group also is recommending that CMS allow Medicare Part C Advantage health plans to use telehealth and RM services as a basic benefit of service.

The organization also has recommendations for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It is recommending that the DEA reduce its regulations to foster innovation and competition in the electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS), particularly as the opioid epidemic continues to grow. “These regulations currently prevent innovators, and particularly small business innovators, from participating in the EPCS market,” the organization wrote.

The organization recommends removing certain requirements that would help to make electronic prescribing of controlled substances software more efficient and affordable for clinicians.



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