The American Telemedicine Association, Washington, is urging the CMS to revise Medicare's conditions of participation largely to better accommodate the use of telemedicine in hospitals.
Telemed group seeks Medicare participation changes for hospitals
In a letter to Marilyn Tavenner (PDF), the CMS' acting administrator, the association suggests four changes regarding emergency care, stroke care, critical and intensive care and readmission. The ATA recommends specifically that the participation conditions be amended to allow for video conferencing in emergency care and in stroke care. Such changes could help facilities "significantly lift the burden of maintaining on-site staffing on a continuous basis," according to the letter.
Also in the letter, signed by ATA CEO Jonathan Linkous, the group urges the CMS to add a condition of participation relating to intensive- and critical-care staffing and allowing the conditions to be met in part through the use of video conferencing. "Sufficient staffing, even at night, on weekends and on holidays, is a particular patient expectation," the letter states. "Telehealth is a valuable resource for meeting intensive- and critical-care patient needs, often unexpected, at all times."
The ATA recommends additionally that the CMS condition concerning discharge planning be amended to include an evaluation of the likelihood of a patient's readmission for related care.
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