Rep. Thompson Applauds Committee Passage of his Bill to Expand Medicare Telehealth Services

Sep 13, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Mike Thompson (CA-05), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, issued to following statement following the Committee’s vote to approve his bill, H.R. 3727:

“I’m thrilled that the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to approve my bill making telehealth services more accessible to seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans,” Rep. Thompson said. “This is an issue that I’ve championed since my days in the State Senate when I expanded telehealth in Medi-Cal, and I’m glad to see the committee take this step in expanding the use of telehealth in Medicare.

“This bill would give Medicare Advantage plans the ability to deliver services to their enrollees via telehealth by adding these services as a basic benefit. It’s past time for Congress to come the conclusion that California reached long ago: telehealth saves money, and it saves lives by making healthcare services and providers more accessible.

“With this legislation, Congress will also clarify that practitioners may use telehealth in chronic care management. Giving doctors coordinating care for patients with multiple, chronic illnesses is commonsense. They should be able to use telehealth to address hurdles like checking in on a patient who doesn’t have access to transportation, or talking with patients in rural areas who we know suffer from more chronic conditions than their suburban and urban counterparts.

“While I’m happy with our committee’s vote today, this is just a small step in the right direction. We have a ways to go before we can say we’ve fully empowered providers to use telehealth to deliver timely, appropriate, quality care to their patients, and I look forward to the work that lies ahead.”