2019 News

The Impact of the 21st Century Cures Act and the ECHO Act on Telehealth and Telemedicine (Blog Series 3 of 3)

Posted by John Kornak on Mar 29, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Will the 21st Century Cures Act and the ECHO Act Cause a Major Adoption Increase in the Telehealth and Telemedicine Space?

The two pieces of legislation (The 21st Century Cures Act and The ECHO Act) outlined in my previous blogs are encouraging for the growth of telehealth and telemedicine in the long term. However, short term advancement in the adoption of telehealth and telemedicine, based solely on these two programs, is unrealistic. In many ways, the biggest impetus to adopt telehealth resources and solutions is already happening: the shift from volume-based to value-based care models by healthcare providers. Health systems, hospitals, and providers are realizing they MUST think beyond reimbursable transactions. It is essential to consider episodes of care, bundle payments, and population health to survive in today’s healthcare setting. Organizations will need to leverage the ability to improve quality and access to care amongst provider networks.

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Topics: Telehealth, telecommunication, telemedicine, 21st Century Cures Act, The ECHO Act, Telehealth Legislation

The 21st Century Cures Act Could Mean Progress for the Use of Telehealth in Medicare and Medicaid (Blog Series 1 of 3)

Posted by John Kornak on Mar 27, 2017 4:00:00 PM

 What is the 21st Century Cures Act?

Over 1,000 pages of legislation make up the Cures Act (or 21st Century Cures Act) passed by Congress on December 7, 2016 and signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016. While the Cures Act is being applauded more as a biomedical research funding bill, reforming the drug approval processes, and increasing funding for scientific research, there are also major allocations (in the area of $6.3 billion) for electronic medical records, precision medicine, mental health services, and fighting opioid abuse. Buried amongst the 1,000 pages of legislation is a callout for provisions on telehealth. Congress is requesting analytical data from The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) on current and potential use of telehealth to see if it improves access to care for Medicare beneficiaries. With a focus on the “originating site” requirement, which states that Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for telehealth services only if they are present from one of eight types of originating sites, Congress is aiming to expand beyond the doctor/patient encounter at facilities typically located in a rural area.

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Topics: Telehealth, telecommunication, telemedicine, Healthcare Legislation, 21st Century Cures Act, Telehealth Legislation