The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • Leveraging Primary Care Telehealth for Convenience and Quality

    mHealth Intelligence

    At its heart, the telehealth or telemedicine platform is all about connecting the patient to the doctor for primary care services. That’s where it all began: a virtual connection to treat a nagging cough or cold, a sinus infection or earache – a minor ailment that would otherwise take a chunk of valuable time away from work or school for a visit to the doctor’s office or hospital. But with digital health technology, that task can be handled quickly and efficiently online, in a fraction of the time and at much less cost to both patient and provider.  That makes it an important tool for delivering both urgent and primary care.

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  • MedPAC Debates Expansion of Telehealth Payment

    AAFP

    Expanding Medicare payment for telehealth services could increase access for patients, but it could also contribute to a spike in medical claims without measurable patient improvement.  That was the core debate(medpac.gov) that members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) had during their most recent meeting Sept. 7-8. The commission is required to submit a comprehensive report to Congress detailing telehealth services covered by Medicare and private plans by March 2018. In preparation, its members discussed whether payment for these services could be expanded efficiently.  Medicare is more limited in how it can pay for telehealth services compared to other payers, including Medicare Advantage, private plans and pilot programs managed by CMS. Most health plans from Medicaid, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs cover telehealth, and 34 states have passed laws that require insurers to pay for telehealth visits in the same manner as they pay for office visits.   

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  • Telehealth, Telemedicine Guidelines Gain Momentum in Florida

    mHealth Intelligence

    One of the last states to formally establish a telehealth policy has been busy this month.  The Florida Telehealth Advisory Council, created by the state’s Legislature in March 2016, has put together a draft report that, among other things, defines “telehealth,” establishes payment and coverage conditions for payers and encourages asynchronous (store and forward) telehealth and remote patient monitoring under the state’s Medicaid program.  That report, unveiled at the council’s Sept. 19 meeting, follows by five days a bill filed by State Sen. Aaron Bean that would turn most of those recommendations into state law.  “It is imperative that the State of Florida moves forward in setting the framework for telehealth so that patients can begin utilizing this new technology,” Bean said in a press release issued on Sept. 20, one day after the advisory council’s meeting. “This bill is a good starting point and includes recommendations from the Telehealth Task Force that was established during the 2016 Legislative Session to review this important issue.”  The advisory council, which is due to issue recommendations to the state by Oct. 31, drafted its report after a series of 10 public meetings, presentations from some 30 state and national telehealth experts (including the American Telemedicine Association and Center for Connected Health Policy) and a statewide survey conducted late last year that showed strong support for telehealth and telemedicine.  

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