VNAA Endorses Telehealth Bill
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

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The Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) sent a letter of support for the Telehealth Enhancement Act of 2013, HR 3306 to Representatives Harper, Welch, Thompson and Nunes. The Senate has yet to introduce  companion version of the bill. 

The Telehealth Enhancement Act improves Medicare’s coverage of telehealth services and remote patient monitoring. Through several new incentive programs and demonstration projects, updates to the Medicare benefit will encourage the appropriate use of telehealth.
 
The letter noted, “As engines of innovation, VNAA members are actively engaged in using new and emerging health technologies. Telehealth provides an efficient solution for providing certain types of care and monitoring—and VNAA members are committed to using new technology to improve patient care in both rural and urban settings. However, telehealth requires an investment in expensive in-home monitoring equipment and significant staff time. These costs go unrecognized currently as direct costs in the home health benefit and are not reimbursable under Medicare.”
 
For certain beneficiaries, the bill will improve their ability to interact with their home health providers, allow more seamless care coordination and take great steps towards keeping patients at home rather than in the hospital. Providers will invest in new technologies and appropriate staffing in order to meet the goals of this important legislation. Review a copy of the letter here
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