Senate

By Laura Lovett May 23, 2018
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a slew of new bills that seek to increase access to telemedicine treatment for patients with substance abuse disorders. The proposed bills, three of which are telehealth-focused, are expected to be wrapped into a larger legislative package by the Senate Finance Committee and then undergo the markup process in the near future.  “While South Dakota is...
By Jonah Comstock September 27, 2017
Senate Bill 870, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act of 2017, or CHRONIC Act for short, has passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote. Among other things, the bill, which was originally introduced in April by Senator Orrin Hatch (R - Utah), includes provisions that would expand Medicare coverage for telemedicine. Along with expanding telemedicine...
By Jeff Lagasse July 31, 2017
While the Senate’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act imploded last week, that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from introducing bills that would make tweaks to the healthcare system in smaller ways. One such bill, sponsored by Reps. Doris Matsui, (D-California), and Bill Johnson, (R-Ohio), would expand the use of telemedicine to reduce costs.   The bill, the Evidence-Based Telehealth...
By Jonah Comstock January 25, 2017
On Tuesday, Representative Tom Price, President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services, faced his second confirmation hearing, this time before the Senate Finance Committee (previously he had gone before the Health committee). In between questions about Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, his questionable investments, and his relationship with President Trump, Price fielded some...
By Jonah Comstock November 30, 2016
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill yesterday that would expand a successful New Mexico telehealth program onto the national stage. Project ECHO is a hub-and-spoke model for connecting specialists at academic medical centers with primary care physicians via teleconferencing technologies. Because there is no remote patient monitoring technology or direct patient-doctor communication via...
By Jonah Comstock October 25, 2016
The American Medical Association spent some portion of the $3.87 million it spent on lobbying this quarter trying to kill part of a telemedicine provision in a Senate bill, as did the American Association of Family Physicians, which spent a total of $1.46 million. Politico broke the news. The bill in question, S-2943, is a lengthy appropriations bill for the Department of Defense. In section 705...
By Brian Dolan May 5, 2010
Following the publication of the FCC National Broadband Plan a new term entered the mobile health and connected health industries' lexicon: "eCare." The FCC adopted this term to serve as an umbrella concept for "the electronic exchange of information -- data, images and video -- to aid in the practice of medicine and advanced analytics. Encompasses technologies that enable video consultation,...
By Brian Dolan March 24, 2010
On page 526 of the more than 2,300 page healthcare reform bill that President Barack Obama signed earlier this week is a proposal for states to support the use of wireless health technology for chronic disease management: "A proposal for use of health information technology in providing health home services under this section and improving service delivery and coordination across the care...
By Brian Dolan October 16, 2009
According to a report in the Washington Post, a bill recently passed by the Senate Finance and Health Committees, includes a provision that more than doubles the potential rewards and penalties that employers can use to incentivize or motivate employees to lose weight, lower cholesterol, stop smoking or lower their BMI. "A single employee whose annual premiums cost him and his employer the...
By Brian Dolan February 10, 2009
With a 61-37 vote, the U.S. Senate passed its $838B version of the economic stimulus bill, which included more than $20 billion for health IT spending. Now the joint House-Senate conference committee needs to resolve the differences between the Senate and House bills, which each call for different funding levels to accelerate adoption of health IT and different language in the IT policy and...

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