The National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and the Home Care Technology Association of America (HCTAA) recently worked with members of Congress to demonstrate the value of telehealth technology.
Representatives from NAHC and its affiliate HCTAA were joined by Pat Laff, managing principal of home care consulting firm Laff Associates, and Anna Doyle, a resident nurse and Patient Advocate & Telehealth Specialist with THA Group in Savannah, Georgia.
The group provided a comprehensive demonstration to several members of the Georgia and South Carolina Congressional delegations to show the potential that telehealth technology holds for those who need home health care services.
“The opportunity to demonstrate innovative uses of remote patient monitoring and the role of the telehealth nurse in the delivery of home care to Members of Congress has tremendous value,” said Richard D. Brennan, Jr., MA, executive director of HCTAA.
“Home care providers need to take every opportunity to educate their Members of Congress on the efficiencies and cost savings obtained from technology adoption and also implore Congress to reimburse home health care providers for the use of technology in Medicare,” added Brennan.
The Congress members who received the live demonstrations were Representatives John Barrow (D-GA), Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Mark Sanford (R-SC).
Each member had the chance to be connected to a remote patient monitoring device while Ms. Doyle asked them questions and walked them through their vital signs of weight and blood pressure—just as would happen when the tech is used with home health patients.
“Unfortunately, the machine doesn’t lie,” joked Congressman Barrow.
Also during the visit, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris joined the group and stressed the cost-saving benefits that remote patient monitoring has for home health beneficiaries.
“Once you see how this technology works, we hope you will become an advocate of it,” said Halamandaris. “There’s a real premium in keeping people out of hospitals, which these devices help to do.”
The demonstrations not only gave lawmakers a first-hand look into the benefits that telehealth monitoring can provide, but also offered NAHC and HCTAA officials the opportunity to educate Congress representatives on key issues affecting health information technology within home care—specifically, the Fostering Independence Through Technology (FITT) Act.
Introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Thune earlier this year, a House version will likely be introduced in the coming weeks, according to NAHC.
Written by Jason Oliva