Former Lawmakers Form Alliance To Advance Telehealth

On Wednesday, a trio of former lawmakers announced a new lobbying group that aims to advance telehealth by eliminating legal and regulatory barriers to technology-based approaches to medical care delivery, Modern Healthcare reports (Demko, Modern Healthcare, 2/12).

About the Group

The Alliance for Connected Care is being led by former Sens. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John Breaux (D-La.). Its board members also include several health care and technology organizations, such as:

  • Care Innovations;
  • Cardinal Health;
  • CVS Caremark;
  • Doctor on Demand;
  • HealthSpot;
  • MDLIVE;
  • Teladoc;
  • Walgreens;
  • WelchAllyn;
  • WellPoint; and
  • Verizon (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation and Technology, 2/12).

Goals of Group

According to a release, the alliance aims to:

  • Create a standardized, but flexible, federal definition of connected health;
  • Ease regulatory barriers to the growth and implementation of telehealth;
  • Identify lawmakers to push for telehealth legislation at the state and federal level; and
  • Show why telehealth tools are important to improving the quality and efficiency of care (Bowman,FierceHealthIT, 2/12).

The alliance has yet to endorse any specific legislation (Modern Healthcare, 2/12). However, it has identified several government-run programs that it says are lagging behind private insurers in embracing telehealth, including:

  • The Department of Veterans Affairs;
  • Medicare; and
  • State Medicaid programs (Young, CQ HealthBeat, 2/12).

In a statement, Lott said, “It is time to make [telehealth] a bipartisan priority in Washington.” He added, “We must improve access to the kinds of innovation that can improve patients’ lives” (Perna,Healthcare Informatics, 2/12).

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About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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