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Legislators propose expanded Medicare reimbursement to grow telehealth programs: 4 notes

The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act aims to expand telehealth services nationwide through increased Medicare reimbursement, mHealthIntelligence reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. Senators Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., reintroduced the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act. The bill did not advance out of Congress last year.

2. The senators released a joint press release criticizing CMS for their lackluster telehealth coverage. CMS covers limited telehealth services, which the senators argue is discouraging innovation and restricting access to specialized services.

3. The senators hope HHS and CMS will embrace digital health if the passes. The bill would allow hospitals to test telehealth services through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. It would also direct the center to complete an independent evaluation of the telehealth model.

4. Several professional organizations, like the American Association of Family Physicians and American Health Association, criticized legislators over their underutilization of telehealth.

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