Federal Reimbursement System for Telemedicine Proposed in US

US legislators have proposed establishing a federal policy for reimbursement of telemedicine and mobile medical devices in order to increase public access to such technologies within health programs including Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Introduced recently in the US House of Representatives, the Telehealth Promotion act of 2012 (H.R. 6719) would remove all arbitrary coverage restrictions for medical devices and services provided via telecommunication platforms under federal health insurance systems, and would also create financial incentives for hospitals utilizing telemedicine to reduce rates of readmissions.

If the proposed legislation becomes law, manufacturers of mobile medical devices and technologies will benefit from easier access to reimbursement, and also potentially drive more demand for telehealth products among US healthcare providers. Furthermore, broader acceptance of mobile medical devices among government health insurance programs such as Medicare could lead to better reimbursement rates for such products among private insurers, as well. 

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