Senators Introduce Bill To Expand Telehealth Services for Veterans
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) have introduced a bill that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs physicians to provide telehealth services across state lines, FierceHealthIT reports (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 10/12).
Currently, VA only can waive state licensure requirements if the patient and physician both are located at a federally owned facility (KTIV, 10/8).
Under the Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support -- or VETS -- Act, VA physicians would be able to practice across state lines and provide telehealth services, including mental health care, to patients in their homes.
The bill, which has eight additional co-sponsors, is similar to a House bill (HR 2516) introduce earlier this year by Reps. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) (FierceHealthIT, 10/12).
In a statement, Ernst said the new Senate bill "moves us one step closer to achieving more affordable, patient-centered health care that our veterans deserve by embracing telehealth services to offer physician care and health treatment beyond the walls of a VA facility" (Ernst release, 10/8).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.