Members of Congress today introduced legislation to expand access to telehealth and remote patient monitoring services in Medicare. The CONNECT for Health Act would remove most Medicare restrictions on telehealth and RPM reimbursement for participants in a new “bridge program” for providers transitioning to the goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and Merit-based Incentive Payment system, and for qualifying participants in alternative payment models, the sponsors said. The bill also would permit further telehealth and RPM in community and rural health centers; remote patient monitoring for certain patients with chronic conditions; and reimbursement for patients at telestroke evaluation and management sites, Native American health service facilities and certain dialysis facilities for home dialysis patients. In addition, the bill would clarify that providing technologies to furnish telehealth or RPM services is not considered “remuneration,” and allow telehealth and RPM as basic benefits in the Medicare Advantage program. The legislation was introduced by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Thune (R-SD) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and by Reps. Diane Black (R-TN), Peter Welch (D-VT) and Gregg Harper (R-MS).

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