Telehealth expansion bill reintroduced to Congress

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The "Fostering Independence Through Technology Act"--a bill aimed at boosting telehealth use to reduce hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in rural and underserved areas--was reintroduced to Congress this week by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), the Alexandria Echo Press reports. According to the Echo Press, the bill calls on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to develop pilot projects that will provide incentives for home health agencies that choose to use remote patient monitoring and communications technologies.

Thune, according to the article, said that expanding telehealth use has the potential to "dramatically reduce" the amount of money spent by Medicare on readmissions annually. Added Klobuchar: "This legislation will make healthcare more efficient and will allow seniors to stay in their homes longer without jeopardizing their health, safety or access to healthcare professionals." Article