ATA Calls on Sebelius To Waive Medicare Telemedicine Restrictions

March 6, 2014 in News

On Tuesday, the American Telemedicine Association sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling for greater flexibility for Medicare providers being paid through alternative payment models to use telehealth, Health Data Management reports.

In the letter, ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous said there are a number of “artificial barriers” that prevent Medicare providers from “[taking] advantage of the full capabilities of telemedicine and telehealth.”

He noted that such barriers include:

  • Communications technology restrictions;
  • Narrow provider and covered services lists; and
  • Patient location restrictions.

Recommendations

The letter recommends that HHS and CMS abandon:

  • Medicare statute 1834(m), which restricts telehealth options for accountable care organizations and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation alternative payment models; and
  • Medicare statute 1895(e)(1), which prevents ACOs and alternative payment models from using telehealth and remote monitoring for “homebound” Medicare beneficiaries (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/6).
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