Founded earlier this year, the bipartisan Health Care Innovation Caucus recently put forth a request for information (RFI). The Connected Health Initiative (CHI) rose to the occasion, responding with a detailed account of how tech-driven tools lead to improved patient outcomes.
The letter, signed by senior director for public policy Graham Dufault and senior global policy counsel Brian Scarpelli, reads in part:
While we believe the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made significant recent progress toward these goals as it works to implement the provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), there are many further areas of opportunity both for Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We share Congress’ goal—as expressed in MACRA—to move the Medicare system from a largely fee-for-service model to one that rewards the value and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. We also applaud Congress for supporting the use of remote monitoring technologies to bring the Medicare system from quantity-based to quality-based.
Also outlined in the letter is support for two pieces of legislation: One, the Preventive Health Savings Act (H.R. 2953), would require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to look beyond its usual 10-year window in determining whether investments in preventive health will yield savings to the federal government. Because these technologies are new and pose numerous benefits to society, the long-run data to understand the true impact of such technologies is not yet known. As a result, the already strong evidence for both the efficacy and cost-savings aspects of remote monitoring technologies—such as the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s use of remote monitoring and telehealth for diabetic patients—has been sidelined in the policy sphere.
CHI also supports the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act (H.R. 2556). This legislation takes a careful and balanced approach that would lift Medicare’s arduous limitations on the use of telehealth; enable the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) technology for patients with chronic conditions; safeguard that new payment models will incorporate connected health technologies; ensure that these advanced solutions are a part of the Medicare Advantage program; and address discrete issues associated with the treatment of Americans who suffer strokes and who require dialysis treatment.