Telehealth Policy & Reimbursement: What Providers Must Know

TelehealthWhat Does It Take to Start a Telehealth Program?

There has been a lot of attention on telehealth of late. The recent American Telemedicine Association (ATA) annual conference held last month in Austin, Texas, drew upwards of 6,000 attendees.   BCC Research predicts the growth of telehealth to reach $27.3 billion by 2016. In January of this year the FCC announced $400 million will be made available to create and expand telehealth networks. And starting this year with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare industry will see a shift away from fee-for-service payments with a national pilot test of bundled payments conducted by CMS. Under this bundling pilot program providers will receive one, fixed reimbursement for multiple services delivered for a single episode of care. Telehealth could be a key component in these bundled payment initiatives given its success as a tool for providing cost-effective, quality care.

While there is no direct link between the EHR incentive program and telehealth, pundits think otherwise.  EHR Intelligence recently report on the topic, quoting Dr. Rashid Bashshur, Director of Telemedicine at the University of Michigan Health Systems:

“We are at the threshold of a new environment in which telemedicine must be an essential part of mainstream healthcare if patients are to receive the appropriate care (based on clinical need and evidence-based medicine), at the appropriate site (closest to where they live and work aided by electronic links), by the appropriate provider (based on explicit and rational triage criteria), while avoiding duplication and waste (using uniform protocols for diagnostics and procedures). This prodigious task can only be achieved through a deliberative process of developing telemedicine systems that incorporate and integrate the core elements of healthcare reform, namely, EHR, meaningful use, HIE, and ACO.”

Clearly, in the age of electronic health records, interoperability and healthcare reform policies, understanding how and where telehealth fits in to a provider’s practice is critical.

A great place to start is by viewing the recording of this recent virtual event hosted by GlobalMed. The event covered various policies and reimbursement programs available to providers for implementation of a telehealth program:

Federal and State Telehealth Policy & Reimbursement: What You Should Know

Read the Q&A from the event

Description of what this even covered:
What does it take to start a telehealth program? How does reimbursement for the implementation of telehealth work? What legalities should be considered? Find answers to these questions and more.  Hosted by GlobalMed with Guest Presenter Mario Gutierrez from the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP)Gutierrez, Executive Director of the CCHP, will provide an overview of telehealth policy. This free, hour-long webinar will focus on:

  • Medicare & Telehealth
  • Medicaid & Telehealth in the 50 states
  • Legal Considerations for providers starting telehealth programs
  • Pending Telehealth Legislation & U.S. Telehealth Policy Trends