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American Telemedicine Association supports legislation to expand Medicare coverage for telemedicine services

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA 5) introduced legislation that will provide payment parity for an expanded list of telehealth services available to Medicare beneficiaries. Thompson’s bill, the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act, was introduced with bi-partisan sponsorship from Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS 3), Diane Black (R-TN 6) and Peter Welch (D-VT).

“This bi-partisan legislation takes an important step forward in removing artificial restrictions to telehealth access for millions of Medicare beneficiaries,” said Jonathan Linkous, chief executive officer of ATA. “ATA supports this legislation because it supports our mission to ensure parity for telehealth technology in the delivery of care.”

The Thompson bill will remove telehealth-only artificial barriers to Medicare’s coverage – moving Medicare in three phases to parity between in-person and telehealth coverage. The first phase is designed to be budget sensitive and will provide strategic improvements, such as for federally-funded community health centers and remote patient monitoring to support the hospital readmissions reduction.