On March 28th, 2018, the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center facilitated a telehealth round-table discussion with Ms. Aisling McDonough. Ms. McDonough recently became Senator Schatz’s health legislative assistant following the departure of Dr. Aimee Grace. Approximately 18 participants from the community attended the round-table and provided Ms. McDonough with an overview and introduction to Hawaiʻi’s telehealth landscape, activities, and initiatives.
Ms. McDonough explained the telehealth components in the 2018 budget agreement. As part of the 2018 budget agreement, Medicare will pay for more telehealth services including: telehealth services to diagnose and treat a stroke (beginning in 2019); monthly clinical visits via telehealth for home dialysis patients (starting in 2019); allowing Medicaid advantage plans to offer telehealth more easily (beginning in 2020); and allowing some accountable care organizations to provide care to patients in their homes via telehealth (starting in 2020).