WASHINGTON – Telehealth industry leaders are applauding President Trump for signing into law a bill that includes the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act.
S.870 will accomplish several goals of telehealth advocates, including: expanding telehealth options for people enrolled in Medicare Managed Care plans; giving Accountable Care Organizations more freedom to use telemedicine; allowing a patient’s home dialysis facilities to count as a recognized originating site for telehealth visits; and expanding the use of virtual care for stroke patients.
“The passage of CHRONIC means more options and flexibility for both providers and patients, including better access to lifesaving treatments, tailored care for beneficiaries coping with multiple chronic health conditions, healthier patients and lower health care costs,” said Gary Capistrant, chief policy officer of the American Telemedicine Association, in a press release.
The act was part of a spending bill that was passed by Congress following a five-hour government shutdown on February 9. It was introduced last May by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
The act also expands and extends the Independence at Home Demonstration of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The demo allows seniors with multiple and complex chronic conditions to receive specialized care at home from health care providers.
In a letter jointly signed by health groups like the Alliance for Connected Care, the American Heart Association, the Connected Health Initiative and the Personal Connected Health Alliance, industry leaders urged the signing of the act.
Citing the “significant body of evidence demonstrating that telehealth can reduce costs, improve outcomes and expand access to care for seniors,” the groups wrote that “now is the time to act to ensure that seniors are able to realize the benefits of digital technologies to manage their health care.”