U.S. Senators re-introduced a bill that would expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare, also enabling more adults to receive care within the comforts of home, reports the Echo Press of Alexandria, Minnesota.
Introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD), the Fostering Independence Through Technology (FITT) Act aims to create a pilot program that provides budget incentives for home health agencies nationwide to use remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology.
Through RPM technology, FITT looks to reduce hospital readmissions while simultaneously improving health outcomes and lessening Medicare expenditures, writes the article.
The bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create pilot projects providing incentives for home health agencies to purchase and utilize RPM technologies.
How it works, the article notes, is that the technology would establish performance targets based on historic Medicare spending, measuring success via health outcomes for beneficiaries as well as savings under Medicare as a result of the technology.
Because of recent reimbursement penalties issued by Medicare, hospitals have come under scrutiny for high readmission rates.
As one in five Medicare patients winds up back in the hospital in less than 30 days post-discharge, the article writes, remote technology allows patients to be monitored using non-invasive technology, especially if they live in rural settings.
Klobuchar’s and Thune’s legislation has already garnered support from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, the National Rural Health Association, HealthEverywhere, and the American Hospital Association.
Written by Jason Oliva