Congress recently passed legislation expanding Medicare reimbursement for telestroke services, one of several provisions included in the Chronic Care Act [S. 870 (115)].

This legislation also enables patients receiving home dialysis to check in with their doctors remotely, Medicare Advantage plans to offer expanded coverage for telehealth services, and Accountable Care Organizations to have more flexibility to use telemedicine, notes a media release from InTouch Health, which applauds the legislation’s passage.

“This legislation represents the first time physician payment has been enabled for the broad Medicare population and, we believe, marks the beginning of a shift in policy supportive of telehealth as a means to improve access and lower cost. We and our partners have worked hard for these changes, which will remove originating site requirements for telestroke services, expanding access to life-saving telehealth technology to 40 million previously unserved Medicare beneficiaries,” says Joseph M. DeVivo, CEO of InTouch Health, in the release.

“Moving forward, victims of the 550,000 strokes that occur among the Medicare population in urban settings each year will have a better chance of survival through more immediate access to specialists regardless of where they live.”

[Source(s): InTouch Health, PR Newswire]