WCVB-TV News (Channel 5, Boston) recently reported on a telehealth program run by the VA and a local veterans hospital. The story highlights a 50 percent reduction in hospitalization rates and a 38 percent reduction in bed days for veterans signed up with the remote monitoring technology program, which helps keep patients independent and in their homes.
Recognizing the potential of this technology for cost efficiency and improvement in quality of care, the Home Care Alliance has submitted legislation in collaboration with State Senator Harriette Chandler that would establish telehealth as a reimbursable service through Medicaid.
Many states have already taken this step as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services allow telehealth to be included as a state service receiving federal matching funds and has the billing and cost infrastructure in place in terms of code definitions and procedures. The VA and other entities in Massachusetts offer telehealth services, but it is not federally reimbursed. For more on this subject, search the term “telehealth legislation” in our blog.
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