The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • Payers urge CBO to Give Telemedicine a Fair Shake

    mHealth Intelligence

    Nearly a dozen national health plans have asked the Congressional Budget Office to pay more attention to telemedicine when scoring Congressional bills on Medicare. In a letter to CBO Director Keith Hall, 11 health plans say telemedicine programs serve “as an important tool in increasing consumer access to high quality, affordable healthcare, improving patient satisfaction and reducing costs.” Yet federal legislation has thrown up roadblocks to the expansion of telemedicine platforms, especially in Medicare Advantage programs. “While many of us are embracing telemedicine in our offerings outside of Medicare Advantage (MA), we want to clearly note that the barriers in Medicare hamper our ability to offer these services to our MA customers,” the letter states. “We have worked closely with [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] to find ways to provide telemedicine through MA plans, but can only do so as a supplemental benefit.”  “Our options are also limited without Congressional action to reduce barriers in the Medicare fee-for-service benefit,” the letter continues. “Congressional action depends, in part, on a budget impact analysis from your office.” This isn’t the first time the CBO has been asked to pay attention to telehealth. 


  • Payers Push Congress to Expand Medicare Telemedicine

    Health Leaders Media

    Eleven of the nation's largest commercial plans offer to share their data and experience on cost-savings and improved access to care with the Congressional Budget Office, as Congress crafts legislation to expand telemedicine within Medicare.  Commercial health insurance companies are offering to share their data on the value of telemedicine to federal actuaries who are estimating the cost of expanding remote coverage under Medicare. "We view telemedicine as an important tool in increasing consumer access to high quality, affordable healthcare, improving patient satisfaction and reducing costs" 11 commercial payers said in a letter this week to Congressional Budget Office Director Keith Hall. "We believe our experience in the commercial market can inform estimates of the impact of policy changes in Medicare." Telemedicine in Medicare is reimbursable only on under a narrow set of circumstances, but Congress is examining ways to expand it. Any legislation to expand Medicare telemedicine that comes with a price tag attached will require scoring by the CBO, which has limited experience in estimating the value and cost of telemedicine because of the federal government's limited exposure. 


  • How Telehealth Can Enable Big Declines in Readmission Rates

    HealthData Management

    High readmission rates are a $17 billion problem across the U.S. for hospital administrators. What’s even more alarming is that a portion of 30-day readmissions are preventable. According to a recent University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 27 percent of readmissions could be avoided. This study shows that hospitals must improve communications between patients, physicians, hospitals and primary care providers, while providing better post-discharge resources. Upon discharge, if a patient is readmitted within 30 days, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires payment from the hospital because of the guidelines of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which penalizes preventable readmissions. However, the burden of keeping abreast of each patient’s unique recovery isn’t an easy task for both providers and hospitals.Imagine that, as a patient, you are sent home from the hospital with a stack of discharge papers. Are you more likely to read every sheet carefully or to put those information sheets in a corner, never to be looked at again? Solutions to the readmissions problem are emerging in today’s market, and they are designed to support the management and monitoring of every patient’s unique recovery during their most critical time post-discharge from the hospital—the first 30 days.