Bipartisan Energy and Commerce Telehealth Working Group Statement on Inclusion of Telehealth Provisions in MACRA QPP Proposal

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Washington, DC, May 23, 2016 | comments


Contact: Lauren Dart

Bipartisan Energy and Commerce Telehealth Working Group Statement on Inclusion of Telehealth Provisions in MACRA QPP Proposal

Group of lawmakers applaud progress on efforts to expand access to technology and innovation to improve patient care

Members of the bipartisan House Energy & Commerce Committee Telehealth Working Group released the following statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule detailing for the first time the physician reimbursement framework, the Quality Payment Program (QPP), required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015:

“We’ve long advocated for the new physician payment programs to reflect the rising importance of telehealth in our rapidly changing healthcare ecosystem. While there remains more work to be done, we’re pleased that the MACRA QPP Proposed Rule takes a first step by featuring important telehealth concepts that were originally proposed by our Telehealth Working Group, and which many providers and health systems have already embraced.

“This proposed rule builds on recent CMS efforts to expand access to telemedicine within Medicare, including the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal to expand the ability of Medicare Advantage plans to deliver services via telehealth and enable rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to qualify as originating telehealth sites under Medicare.  CMS also waived geographic and originating site restrictions for the Next Generation Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

“We continue to review the details of the proposed rule and look forward to working with CMS to build on recent efforts within the Medicare program.  Our shared goal is to advance telemedicine with the aim of improving individual and community health, while spending health care dollars more efficiently. Models of care must recognize the growing evidence-base that supports the effectiveness of telehealth for patient care.”

The MACRA QPP Proposed Rule features concepts that were originally proposed by the Telehealth Working Group, including:

·         Next Generation ACOs qualify as Alternative Payment Models (APMs), encouraging the use of this innovative payment model which waives restrictions to telemedicine.

·         Telehealth services are included in the definition of patient-facing encounters.

·         Care coordination including the use of remote monitoring is being considered as an additional Clinical Practice Improvement Activity category.

The Energy and Commerce bipartisan Telehealth Working Group includes Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK).


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