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