S.2484 – The CONNECT for Health Act

On February 02, 2016, S.2484 – Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act was introduced to the floor of the U.S. Senate. The CONNECT for Health Act is a piece of bi-partisan legislation introduced by Senators Schatz (D-HI), Wicker (R-MS), Cochran (R-MS), Cardin (D-MD), Thune (R-SD), and Warner (D-VA). Companion legislation was introduced by Black (R-TN), Welch (D-VT), and Harper (R-MS) in the House of Representatives. The CONNECT for Health Act would expand the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring services in Medicare, toward the goal of cost savings and quality care.

The CONNECT for Health Act:

  • Creates a bridge program to help providers transition to the goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) through using telehealth and RPM without most of the aforementioned 1834(m) restrictions;
  • Allows telehealth and RPM to be used by qualifying participants in alternative payment models, without most of the aforementioned 1834(m) restrictions;
  • Permits the use of remote patient monitoring for certain patients with chronic conditions;
  • Allows, as originating sites, telestroke evaluation and management sites; Native American health service facilities; and dialysis facilities for home dialysis patients in certain cases;
  • Permits further telehealth and RPM in community health centers and rural health clinics;
  • Allows telehealth and RPM to be basic benefits in Medicare Advantage, without most of the aforementioned 1834(m) restrictions; and
  • Clarifies that the provision of telehealth or RPM technologies made under Medicare by a health care provider for the purpose of furnishing these services shall not be considered “remuneration.”

To read the press release: www.schatz.senate.gov/news/press-releases/bipartisan-team-of-senators-introduces-legislation-to-expand-telehealth-services-improve-health-outcomes-and-reduce-costs

To track this bill and to read in its entirety: www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2484