Representative Greg Gianforte (R-MT) https://www.giante.house.gov and Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) on February 5, 2020 https://www.eshoo.house.gov introduced legislation to expand telehealth services throughout the country.
Their bipartisan “National Telehealth Strategy and Data Advancement Act” (H.R. 5763) will increase access to care, reduce healthcare costs, collect critical information to improve policymaking, and streamline the administration of federal grants needed to research how best to use technology in healthcare.
One challenge to increasing the use of telehealth services concerns the lack of research along with obtaining consistent data. Currently, grants and research being performed to improve access to telehealth services are spread across 10 different federal agencies with little or no coordination among them. Many hospital administrators are unaware of the grants, and find the application process confusing and burdensome.
The Act would:
- After one year should develop a plan for the adoption, advancement, and coordination of telehealth by Federal agencies. Require the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth to create a plan for a cohesive, efficient telehealth implementation at the federal level
- Help regional and national entities to enable greater use of telehealth
- Improve telehealth research by standardizing the federal grant process and data reporting of grant recipients plus build a comprehensive evidence base in order to enable high quality and effective use of telehealth
- Reauthorize $40 million in federal telehealth grant programs
- Provide federal governance and oversight of federal telehealth spending to ensure information sharing and collaboration across federal agencies
- Create a biennial report to Congress on federal investments in telehealth which would assess costs for the use of telehealth
For more information, go to https://www.congress.gov.