CHIME Calls for Telehealth, Data Sharing To Bolster Chronic Care

June 18, 2015 in News

On Monday, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives sent a letter to a Senate Finance Committee work group calling for increased use of health IT — particularly data sharing and telehealth — in care delivery for patients with chronic conditions, Clinical Innovation Technology reports (Walsh, Clinical Innovation Technology, 6/15).

The letter was sent in response to the committee’s call for stakeholder feedback regarding ways to improve care for patients with chronic conditions. The committee in a letter last month said such input was “critical” to developing related legislation (Bowman, FierceHealthIT, 6/16).

Details of CHIME’s Letter

In its letter to the work group, CHIME wrote that a “high degree of data fluidity is imperative to reducing waste and improving quality within the U.S. health care system.”

CHIME called on the committee to consider new policies that would improve decision-making by:

  • Bolstering data exchange (Clinical Innovation Technology, 6/15); and
  • Facilitating the collection of “longitudinal” health records that reflect patients’ care experiences across payers, locations and stages of care.

According to CHIME, the ability to match patients with their data across different providers is “foundational to coordinated care” (FierceHealthIT, 6/16).

Meanwhile, CHIME said that federal programs must re-evaluate how they define, reimburse and license providers for telehealth services (Clinical Innovation Technology, 6/15). The group wrote, “Differences in state laws, definitions and regulations create a confusing environment for hospitals and health systems that may care for a patient across state lines” (FierceHealthIT, 6/16).

As telehealth becomes more widely available, CHIME said the committee must incorporate educational resources regarding such services. The group wrote, “Telehealth policies should include patient (and family) access to appropriate and comprehensive patient education resources to increase both the quality and specificity of information exchanged with providers” (Clinical Innovation Technology, 6/15).

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