Dogtown Proudly Supports Telehealth-Friendly Senate Bill

April 10, 2017 - 3 minutes read

One thing that unites people on both sides of the political aisle in America is the understanding that our healthcare system is deeply flawed. Many app developers point toward MedTech as part of the solution, but unfortunately the government has been slower to embrace the latest innovations than the tech community and general public. Dogtown Media strongly believes in the possibilities of MedTech solutions to revolutionize the way healthcare works and save lives. That is why we are proud to be a member of ACT – The App Association and its Connected Health Initiative. This initiative fights for wider implementation of mHealth technologies, lobbying the government to recognize that the future of healthcare lies in this burgeoning field.

The Connected Health Initiative is excited to back the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, a piece of legislation recently re-introduced in the Senate. Sponsored by a bipartisan lineup of senators from the Senate Finance Committee, including Mark Warner (D-VA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the bill is part of a broader effort to improve healthcare while lowering overall Medicare costs. According to the bill itself, it seeks to “implement Medicare payment policies designed to improve management of chronic disease, streamline care coordination, and improve quality outcomes without adding to the deficit.” So what does that mean for MedTech app developers?

Among other things, the bill expands the telehealth benefits available under Medicare, especially for stroke patients and patients who require dialysis. It would remove geographic restrictions on consultations so that a doctor can receive payment for working with a stroke victim or patient on dialysis living across the country. At the same time, it would ensure that the hospital where the patient is receiving the telehealth consultation would not receive a separate originating site payment. These reforms would make it easier for patients in isolated rural areas to receive quality care through remote monitoring and consultation.The bill aims to significantly expand the number and type of mHealth services covered under Medicare by 2020, allowing for the kinds of solutions MedTech app developers have long advocated for.

“Connected health technologies are vital components in the success of our country’s healthcare system, and we will continue to work with Congress to support an environment where more telehealth solutions may be used to improve care for more Americans,” said Connected Health Initiative executive director Morgan Reed in a statement. We here at Dogtown Media couldn’t agree more. We’re proud to support the CHRONIC Care Act, which has the potential to change lives by giving patients more flexibility in choosing their care and making their treatment more convenient. If the government starts to adopt telehealth services with enthusiasm, San Francisco MedTech app developers will have their work cut out for them.

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