Thursday, May 24, 2018
Bills filed to boost telemedicine, help opioid addicts
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced five bills to increase access to telemedicine treatment for patients with substance-abuse disorders; the proposed bills will likely be included in a larger legislative package by the Senate Finance Committee. "The new bills look at everything from breaking down geographical restrictions of telemedicine to setting best practice for treating kids with substance abuse disorder through telemedicine," Laura Lovett reports for MobiHealthNews. Telemedicine is a boon to rural areas, which generally lack the resources urban areas have in treating substance abuse problems.
The five bills include a proposal that Medicaid eliminate originating-site geographic restrictions for telemedicine. Another calls on the comptroller general to evaluate access to telemedicine and remote monitoring services to treat pediatric Medicaid patients with substance-abuse disorders. And another bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to advise states on federal reimbursement for substance-abuse treatment under Medicaid using telemedicine, Lovett reports.
The Senate Finance Committee met for a 9 a.m. hearing today to discuss hospital closings, Medicare payment programs and other challenges facing rural providers, reports Politico. More on that tomorrow.