René Y. Quashie, Senior Counsel, and Amy F. Lerman, Associate, in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm's Washington, DC, office, were quoted in Health Reform WK-EDGE, in “Strategic Perspectives: Are We There Yet? Telehealth, Telemedicine, and the ACA,” by Melissa Skinner.

Following is an excerpt:

Rene Y. Quashie, Senior Counsel of the Health Care and Life Sciences practice at Epstein Becker Green, and Amy F. Lerman, an Associate of the same practice group of that firm confirmed the role of the ACA in promoting the use of telehealth further. In particular, Lerman stated that the ACA “impacted the use of telemedicine especially given the ubiquity of sophisticated health technology.” Further, she noted, “as we move from a fee-for-service environment to one that places emphasis on patient outcomes and quality reflected in many ACA initiatives and models, providers are being incentivized to find efficient and cost-effective ways to deliver care and engage with patients and other providers.” Among the aspects promoting this transformation are ACA provisions that call for electronic monitoring by specialists the development of care models that utilize specific patient-based remote monitoring, and studies on the ways in which telehealth services can be used in treating certain conditions in patients, according to Lerman. Quashie echoed Lerman’s sentiments stating that while “all the relevant ACA provisions are still in play and final takeaways from these programs may take some time to sort through . . . unquestionably the ACA has put renewed focus and attention on the ability of telehealth—when properly utilized—to usher in a new era of coordinated care that places emphasis on patient outcomes and quality.” …

“The ACA is only part of the puzzle,” Quashie explained, “At the federal level, until Medicare truly expands its telehealth coverage, the ACA will fail to make significant changes in telehealth.” Further, Quashie argued that the “one overarching issue” that exists as a barrier is Medicare reimbursement. In that regard, he claims that Medicare not only has limited coverage for telehealth but that its definition of reimbursable telehealth is “highly restrictive and limited to interactive audio and video telecommunications that provide real-time communications between a practitioner and a Medicare beneficiary.” 

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