Group Calls on CMS To Expand Remote Monitoring and Telemedicine in Medicare
On Friday, the Telecommunications Industry Association sent a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner urging the agency to include remote monitoring services as a mandatory supplemental benefit for Medicare Advantage Organizations, Health Data Management reports.
TIA’s letter follows an advance CMS notice alerting health care providers, insurers and related vendors about the changes being made in fiscal year 2015 to Medicare Advantage capitation rates and Part C and Part D payment policies (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 3/11).
Last week, the American Telemedicine Association sent a similar letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calling for greater flexibility for Medicare providers being paid through alternative payment models to use telehealth.
In the letter, ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous said there are a number of “artificial barriers” that prevent Medicare providers from “[taking] advantage of the full capabilities of telemedicine and telehealth.”
He noted that such barriers include:
- Communications technology restrictions;
- Narrow provider and covered services lists; and
- Patient location restrictions (iHealthBeat, 3/6).
The letter from TIA requested that CMS recognize the benefits of remote access technologies, including their ability to:
- Improve care;
- Reduce hospitalizations; and
- Cut costs.
TIA wrote, “We strongly believe that including remote monitoring solutions as a mandatory supplemental benefit will serve as a significant step towards modernizing the delivery of care by extending beyond the walls of the hospital room” (Health Data Management, 3/11).