Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Congress Facing Pressure to Pass Telehealth Bill for Senior Care

We are sharing the following article on the proposed federal RUSH (Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations) Act in our blog because we expect that if/when it becomes law, there will be an impact on Patient Access and our hospitals.  Reducing “unnecessary” hospitalizations will help reduce re-admission rates and emergency department visits for Medicare patients from skilled nursing facilities.  A plus for us.  However, we also anticipate that there will be some additional work to create the administrative framework to document and bill for telemedicine services.

Stay tuned for more information as it comes to this.

Congress Facing Pressure to Pass Telehealth Bill for Senior Care
Connected care advocates are pressuring Congress to pass the RUSH Act, which aims to increase telehealth and telemedicine services in senior care facilities.

By: Eric Wicklund

Connected care advocates are lobbying Congress to pass the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act of 2018, which aims to reduce rehospitalizations at qualified skilled nursing facilities by giving them more incentives to use telemedicine and telehealth to improve patient care.

And they want it done soon.

Among those pushing for passage of the bill is Health IT Now. The broad-based coalition fired off a letter to lawmakers last week following the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' release of a report on the use of telehealth in Medicare.

"In this report, CMS makes the case for passage of the bipartisan, Health IT Now-endorsed RUSH Act better than we ever could ourselves," Joel White, the group's executive director, said in the letter. "Now, the agency should put its findings into action by joining us in calling for swift passage of this sorely needed legislation during the current 'lame-duck' session." 

Read the full article here.

- The NAHAM Policy Development and Government Relations Committee

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