Chronic Care Bill Would Pay Big Dividends In Telehealth Reimbursements
A bill introduced by four US Senators to address and improve chronic illness care will increase reimbursements for telehealth care of home-based patients on Medicare Advantage plans, permit beneficiaries in several accountable care organizations (ACO) to be furnished telehealth service at home, and expand the use of telehealth for individuals with stroke.
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Insurers and a neurologist testifying at a May 16 Senate Finance Committee hearing on the CHRONIC Care Act praised the bill's telehealth provisions. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says he plans to mark up the bill, which has been under development for two years, this week.
Five Emory University-affiliated hospitals taking part in a Philips eICU program cut total costs by $4.6m – or $1,468 per average care episode – reduced discharges to nursing homes by 6.9%, and lowered inpatient readmission rates, according to a recent audit by CMS contractors.
Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Finance Committee plan to reintroduce the Chronic Care Act in 2017. It would provide Medicare pay incentives to improve management of chronic-care patients at home, streamline care coordination, and promote telehealth opportunities.