More Medicare pay for telehealth services will not be a part of the 21st Century Cures bill, according to industry sources informed of the decision by the House committee drafting the legislation.
The telehealth industry had been hoping the legislative package would include a separate Medicare billing code for remote patient-monitoring.
The package, expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, will include a variety of initiatives intended to stimulate treatment and therapy innovation. The telehealth provision appeared in early drafts but has been dropped. Difficulties posed by the Congressional Budget Office's scoring system were cited as a factor in the decision.
The industry disputes that was the reason. “Telemedicine stakeholders came up with reams of ideas and data that would pass CBO muster," said Krista Drobac, the head of the Alliance for Connected Care, a trade group for the telehealth industry. "This is not about CBO. This is about priorities.”
A response to questions about the reports posed to the Energy and Commerce Committee spokeswoman did not directly confirm or deny the reports. “Telemedicine is a priority for the committee, particularly thanks to the leadership of Reps. Harper and Matsui, and will continue to be an important part of the 21st Century Cures initiative," a spokeswoman said in a statement, referring to Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.).