House bill would allow groups to use telemedicine for long-term care

Proposed legislation in the House of Representatives would allow medical groups to use telemedicine to treat patients in long-term care facilities.

Proponents say using the technology to expand care access in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) could significantly reduce hospital admissions from by permitting Medicare to enter into value-based care arrangements with medical groups to provide care via telemedicine consultations, according to Health Data Management. Medicare is keen on reducing hospital admissions from skilled nursing facilities—the agency believes 45 percent of such admissions are unnecessary.

The bill is the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations Act of 2018, or the RUSH Act. It has bipartisan support from Reps. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.).

The bill is getting support from Health IT Now, a coalition of patient, provider, vendor, employer and insurance stakeholders working to improve quality and outcomes, while increasing safety and cutting costs.

"Roughly one in 5 patients admitted to a SNF will end up in the emergency room within 30 days and technology has an answer to this alarming trend," says Joel White, executive director at Health IT Now. “The RUSH Act will (allow) value-based contracts with medical groups that provide high-quality, on-site emergency care facilitated by a telehealth connection. This should help stem the flow of patients from nursing home to hospital by treating patients in place."

Read the full story at Health Data Management.

Topics: Clinical , Technology Trends , Uncategorized