House Bill Would Allow ACOs To Expand Use of Telehealth Services

September 26, 2014 in News

Two lawmakers have introduced a bill (HR 5558) that aims to improve the accountable care organization model in part by allowing ACOs to expand telehealth services, Becker’s Hospital Review‘s “Health IT CIO Review” reports.

Bill Details

The ACO Improvement Act was introduced by Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) (Gregg, “Health IT CIO Review,” Becker’s Hospital Review, 9/24).

The legislation would permit ACOs to use:

  • Remote patient monitoring; and
  • Store-and-forward technology that delivers images to remote providers (Gold, “Morning eHealth,” Politico, 9/23).

In addition, the bill aims to provide better care coordination by improving the process through which data are shared between ACOs and the Medicare administration (Black release, 9/22).

Black said the bill would offer value-based reimbursements and provide ACOs with additional tools to improve patient outcomes.

She said, “It is unfortunate that the current fee-for-service payment system does little to encourage and incentivize providers and patients to use the most appropriate and effective healthcare options,” adding that the “legislation will help improve care coordination [and] increase efficiency” (“Health IT CIO Review,” Becker’s Hospital Review, 9/24).

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