Congress Pushed for Stage 3 Criteria for Telehealth

Four industry organizations are asking Congress to push for Stage 3 requirements for expanding interoperability of electronic health records, including data generated from remote patient monitoring systems.

The American Telemedicine Association, Association for Competitive Technology, Continua Health Alliance and the Telecommunications Industry Association sent a letter to leaders of the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Finance Committee.

“The health and financial benefits of remote monitoring are significant,” according to the letter. Remote monitoring connects patients and health care providers outside of health care facilities, allowing for ongoing treatment and for early discovery of the warning signs for ailments such as congestive heart failure, pneumonia, myocardial infraction and chronic pulmonary disease. By actively involving patients in their own care, they are also empowered--and far more likely--to make healthy lifestyle changes.”

In particular, the groups want Congress to ensure that patient-generated health data created by remote monitoring systems is addressed in requirements for Stage 3 of the EHR meaningful use program. They call on Congress to ensure that:

* HHS incentives require EHR systems to incorporate open, voluntary and consensus-based industry standards for interoperability with remote patient monitoring systems; and that

* HHS establishes target goals for the use of remote patient monitoring of patient-generated health data for patients with at least one high priority condition.

Text of the letter is available here.

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