Bill Would Ease Location Rule for Interstate VA Telehealth Services

May 27, 2015 in News

On Friday, two House lawmakers introduced legislation (HR 2516) that aims to make telehealth more accessible to veterans, mHealthNews reports.

Background

Under current law, Department of Veterans Affairs providers can practice telehealth across state lines. However, for a VA patient to receive such treatment, both the patient and the provider must be at a federal facility (Wicklund, mHealthNews, 5/26).

Details of Bill

The new legislation, called the Veterans E-Health Telemedicine Support Act of 2015, was introduced by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and has 11 co-sponsors.

The measure would remove the requirement that VA patients and providers be in a federal facility for telehealth services to be provided across state lines, FierceHealthIT reports. Under the new measure, veterans would be able to receive telemedicine treatment anywhere.

To practice telehealth with an out-of-state VA patient, providers would have to be qualified to provide such treatment. Further, the practice would have to be “within the scope of their authorized federal duties,” according to a release from Thompson (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 5/26).

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