ATA Lends Support to New White House Telehealth Plan

This week, the unveiling of President Obama’s budget proposal indicated that it would enable the HHS Secretary to expand the ability of Medicare Advantage organizations to deliver medical services via telehealth, estimated to generate more than $160 million in savings over 10 years.

“ATA has been advocating for such language for many years. Although there is more to be done, this represents an important victory for telemedicine, Medicare patients and the nation’s taxpayers,” said ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous. “This policy signals a significant foot-in-the-door toward transforming the way healthcare is delivered.”

By integrating face‐to‐face care with remote access care in both rural and urban areas, this proposal will improve care coordination, provide for more timely exchanges between specialists, and facilitate beneficiary access to care in situations where traveling to provider offices would be more difficult.

The decision to utilize the telehealth benefit would remain at the discretion of the beneficiary.

According to the ATA, this marks the first time that any White House has included specific telehealth improvements in its proposed budget. Over 16 million Medicare beneficiaries in Medicare managed care (Medicare Advantage) would be impacted.

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