Telehealth Provisions in SGR Bill Are Not Dead, ATA Official Says

An American Telemedicine Association official recently predicted that telehealth provisions included in a controversial bill to repeal and replace Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula eventually would be added to other legislation if the measure fails to pass the Senate, Clinical Innovation & Technology reports (Pedulli, Clinical Innovation & Technology, 3/19).

Background on Bill

Last month, members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees introduced the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act.

Among other things, the bill beginning in 2018 would require physicians to participate in a new merit-based incentive payment system — called MIPS — that would consolidate three existing incentive programs:

  • The Physician Quality Reporting System;
  • The Value-Based Payment Modifier; and
  • The Meaningful use program (iHealthBeat, 2/19).

In addition, the bill would allow telehealth services to be applied to alternative payment models, including:

  • Accountable care organizations;
  • Bundled payments; and
  • Medical homes.

Earlier this month, the House voted to approve the legislation after Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) added an amendment that would delay until 2019 penalties for consumers who failed to purchase coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

According to Clinical Innovation & Technology, the amendment effectively guaranteed the bill would fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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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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