DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Mike Thompson
Sent By: lakecia.foster@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 2948
Date: 7/17/2015

Support Modernizing Medicare and Reducing Costs
Cosponsor the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015
Supported by: American Telemedicine Association, Telecommunications Industry Association, American Speech-Language Hearing Association, American Association of Respiratory Care, Alliance for Home Dialysis, Remote Cardiac Services Providers Group, American Society of Nephrology, National Association for the Support of Long Term Care, National Rural Health Association, Biocom, Nursing Community Coalition (44 Nursing Groups), American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Visiting Nurse Association of America, American Occupational Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association, AARP, American Nursing Association, American Osteopathic Association
Dear Colleague,
We encourage you to cosponsor the bipartisan Medicare Telehealth Parity Act (H.R. 2948), which will expand coverage of telehealth services under Medicare.
Rural and underserved communities struggle with inadequate access to health care, due to provider shortages and lack of resources in communities needing primary care and prevention services. Metropolitan areas face similar challenges in providing timely and adequate access due to urban isolation and cultural barriers.
Consequently, the use of technology in health care has created and continues to create limitless opportunities and has the potential to unlock enormous advances in the way practitioners and patients deliver and access care. However, the continued success and progress of a 21st century health care delivery system is stymied by an outdated statutory scheme that restricts the current and future use of telehealth under Medicare. Therefore, policies surrounding coverage, reimbursement, and access to medical care should mirror the innovative and expansive strides of telemedicine. In an effort to improve access, coordination, and continuity of care, and to contain costs, we need to harness and prioritize the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring. This can be done by removing geographic and reimbursement limitations, provider and site of care restrictions, and other artificial barriers that disincentivizes the use of technology and restricts Medicare beneficiaries from receiving high quality, efficient health care.
The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act recognizes the lifesaving and cost saving benefits of telehealth and remote patient monitoring and expands these services under Medicare, which will put them on the path toward parity with in-person health care visits. Specifically, the bill would phase in the expansion of telehealth by removing the geographic barriers under current law; expand the list of providers that are eligible to provide telehealth services; and expand the list of services that can be provided via telehealth. The bill would also allow remote patient monitoring for patients with chronic conditions and allow the beneficiary’s home to serve as an “originating site” for home dialysis, hospice care, eligible outpatient mental health services, home health services, and tele-stroke services.
We encourage you to join this bipartisan effort to improve patient care, lower health care costs, and continue to advance the benefits of telemedicine.
For more information or to cosponsor this bill, please contact Lakecia Foster (Thompson) at Lakecia.Foster@mail.house.gov or at 225-3311; Jordan See (Harper) at Jordan.See@mail.house.gov or at 225-5031; Katie Allen (Black) at Katie.Allen@mail.house.gov or at 225-4231; or Isaac Loeb (Welch) at Isaac.Loeb@mail.house.gov or at 225-4115.
Sincerely,
MIKE THOMPSON GREGG HARPER
Member of Congress Member of Congree

DIANE BLACK PETER WELCH
Member of Congress Member of Congress