Senate

By Nazila Hafezi June 18, 2019
This week, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced legislation to strengthen privacy and security protections for consumers’ personal health data, specifically the data involved in DNA testing kits and health tracking apps. WHAT HAPPENED The Protecting Personal Health Data Act would require HHS to create standards to protect the sensitivity of genetic data,...

Senator Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in September. Photo by Scott Eisen, Getty Images

By Jonah Comstock October 10, 2018
The FDA’s Pre-Cert program has fallen under new scrutiny as the agency received an open letter today from three senators: Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.). The 12-page letter contains no less than 50 questions for the agency about the program, ranging from how it will derive its statutory authority to how it will pay for the program absent traditional...
By Laura Lovett October 4, 2018
Yesterday the senate overwhelmingly passed a new opioid bill in a 98-1 vote, with only Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) voting against it and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) not voting. The vote expands telemedicine services to people with opioid abuse disorder, exempting it from certain requirements. It also modifies the provisions regarding electronic prescriptions and post-surgical pain management.  Further...
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,...