DearColleague.us

Letter

Bill Johnson

From the office of:

Bill Johnson

From: The Honorable Bill Johnson
Sent By: elise.conner@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 3750
Date: 1/30/2014

Cosponsor H.R. 3750

The Telehealth Modernization Act of 2013

Encourage health care providers to utilize innovative technologies to provide greater and more efficient patient care

Dear Colleague:

We invite you to cosponsor the Telehealth Modernization Act of 2013 (H.R. 3750). This bill would provide principles that states can look to for guidance when developing new policies that govern telehealth.

Telehealth, the practice of bringing healthcare provider and patient together virtually, is becoming a widely accepted practice across the United States.  By removing barriers such as provider shortage, distance, mobility, and time constraints, telehealth is invaluable in helping to resolve some of our nation’s greatest health care challenges.

The Telehealth Modernization Act promotes the proliferation of telehealth technologies by offering states consistent and clear definitions and principles they can look to for guidance when developing new policies that govern telehealth. There currently exists an inconsistent and often dated patchwork of state laws – in fact, last year at least 40 states considered legislation addressing telehealth policy with wide variations in how telehealth is defined – which has inhibited the deployment of telehealth in both the private and public sectors.

Without a common set of principles guiding the establishment and revision of state telehealth laws, this technology will fail to meet its full potential to better our healthcare system.  While our bill does not mandate state adherence to these principles, we believe it is an important step in promoting telehealth adoption and increased compatibility among the states.

In order to further the growing momentum for telehealth adoption and ensure the safe and secure deployment of telehealth, this bipartisan measure lays out principles for states to utilize when modernizing their legislative and regulatory frameworks.  These principles, which are consistent with the standard of care for in-person healthcare services, and which respect current state rules around the practice of medicine, include:

  • Establishing a Treatment Relationship Online: The bill protects the fundamental patient-provider relationship. This relationship can be preserved, established, and augmented through the use of telehealth.
  • Informed Care: The bill states that health care professionals should have access to and review the medical history of the patient he or she is treating via telehealth, just as they would in person.
  • Documented Care: Guidelines in the bill lay out that health care professionals should document the evaluation and treatment provided to the patient, and generate an appropriate medical record.
  • Prescription Requirements: Prescriptions provided by the health care professional via telehealth should be issued for a legitimate medical purpose only. The prescription may not be a controlled substance and must be filled by a valid dispensing entity.

The Telehealth Modernization Act of 2013 is supported by key industry leaders including the Health IT Now Coalition.

Please join us in this bipartisan effort to facilitate the adoption of an innovative technology that can improve health care outcomes across the country.

If you have any questions, please contact Louis Agnello on my staff (5-5361 or Louis.Agnello@mail.house.gov), or Elise Conner (5-7505 or Elise.Conner@mail,house.gov) of Rep. Johnson’s staff.

Sincerely,

DORIS MATSUI                                                                     BILL JOHNSON

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress