U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today applauded the Senate Committee on Finance, of which he is a member, for unanimously passing the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation to strengthen health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries living with chronic conditions. The bill, of which Thune is a co-sponsor, includes several Thune-supported provisions to support telehealth services, including provisions from the CONNECT for Health Act and his Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act (S. 431).
“In rural and remote areas, hopping in the car and driving to see a physician isn’t always quick or easy, which is why telehealth and telemedicine services are critical to many South Dakotans, particularly those with chronic conditions,” said Thune. “I’m glad the Finance Committee passed the CHRONIC Care Act with multiple telehealth provisions, which will help ensure patients have more flexibility with their health care, regardless of where they choose to reside.”
Thune- Supported Provisions in the CHRONIC Care Act:
- The CHRONIC Care Act contains a provision similar to Thune’s FAST Act, which eliminates originating site geographic restrictions for telehealth services to remotely diagnose and treat stroke patients beginning in 2021.
Medicare Advantage (MA) Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID)
- Expands the MA V-BID demonstration program, initially proposed by Thune, to allow an MA plan in any state to participate in the program by 2020.
CONNECT for Health provisions
- Allows additional telehealth benefits under MA.
- Provides Accountable Care Organizations the ability to expand the use of telehealth.
- Permits the use of telehealth for periodic consultations with health care practitioners for home dialysis users.