Legislation To Expand Nationwide Telemedicine Services Introduced in Senate
Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) last week introduced legislation to expand and improve telemedicine services nationwide. The Medicare Telehealth Validation Act of 2002 (S 2750), sponsored by Crapo, would authorize the HHS secretary to administer grants to state and local health departments; Indian health facilities; and community, rural and migrant health centers to establish and expand telemedicine networks in rural and underserved areas. In addition, the legislation would establish a task force to identify, monitor and coordinate federal telehealth programs. The task force would analyze the development of telemedicine networks and make recommendations for their improvement (S 2750 text, 7/18). The National Emergency Telemedical Communications Act of 2002 (S 2748), sponsored by Conrad, would authorize a $275 million pilot program to develop a network of state and regional emergency telemedicine systems to respond to public health emergencies, such as biological and chemical attacks. Under the bill, a task force established by the HHS secretary would monitor the program and make recommendations to improve interoperability and emergency preparedness within the networks (S 2748 text, 7/17). For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat.org, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.