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Connecting for Government Results

February 18, 2016

With the passing of Justice Scalia there is talk that this could be the Armageddon event thereby ending the American Constitution as we know it. While some like to focus on doomsday and catastrophic possibilities, there is reason for utmost optimism thanks to the progress on CONNECT for Health Act.

The bill is being introduced by an array of Senators and Representatives hailing from all parts of the country and both parties. How is it possible that our two parties are working together striving for tangible results? Easy.  It’s related to health and cost savings. For this reason, Prevail is happy to formally endorse the bill.

Our health is the connector for all of us. It does not matter how many houses, cars, and boats we have. If we do not have our health then we have nothing.

Going in line with trends of healthcare to utilize technology, the CONNECT for Health Act would expand the usage of telehealth in Medicare. This would accomplish greater care and cost savings. We use technology to do our banking, communicate with friends and family, and countless other daily activities. Now is the perfect time for the combination of health and technology.

There are two elements that are of particular interest:

  1. Originating site restriction: previously the person had to be in a certain clinical site to have the care reimbursed. This bill would open the list of sites to include more places including community health centers.
  2. Limitations on covered codes: the CMS had to define certain reimbursable codes. With the rapid innovation taking place in telehealth there are many new care options that the codes are struggling to keep up with. As we saw with ICD-10, some things take some time.

For many populations this is an exciting advance that will give them opportunities for better health. This is especially true for rural populations that would have to drive hours while sick to receive care.

What does it all add up to? An analysis by a centrist think-tank puts the total at $1.8 billion over 10 years.

Will an older population use technology for their health? It is a great question and over the years at Prevail we have seen about ¼ of our users are students and another ¼ are elderly. Health touches all of us and if there are ways to improve our health it helps to break down any technological barriers. With any diffusion of innovation, there will be early adopters.

Thanks to the enormous opportunity to drive better health outcomes while reducing long-term costs, the bill is receiving the endorsements from a long list of organizations.

What do you think about the bill? Please join us in supporting innovation in health.

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