Charles Dunham, James Tam Cited and Quoted in “Making Telehealth a Valuable Part of Preventive Care Programs”


mHealthIntelligence cited and quoted a recent TechHealth Perspectives blog post, titled “Preventive Health Services Act Bill Makes Telehealth Legislation More Appealing,” co-authored by Charles C. Dunham, IV, Member of the Firm, and James S. Tam, Associate, in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Houston, New York, and Washington, DC, offices, in “Making Telehealth a Valuable Part of Preventive Care Programs,” by Eric Wicklund.

Following is an excerpt:

An under-the-radar bill introduced in Congress last year could, if passed, pave the way for Medicare coverage of telehealth in preventive health programs.

The Preventive Health Savings Act (S. 2164 and H B.. 2953) proposes to expand the window by which the Congressional Budget Office scores legislation targeting disease prevention programs from 10 years to 30 years. This would enable the CBO to better analyze the long-term health and wellness effects of these programs, rather than focusing on immediate outcomes.

James S. Tam and Charles C. Dunham IV, attorneys with the Epstein Becker Green law practice, say this would make telehealth a more attractive component of Medicare programs.

“The U.S. incurs significant, but avoidable, costs related to the treatment of certain diseases and chronic care services, so preventive tools and services are beneficial as a means toward lowering such costs,” the two wrote in a recent blog on the National Law Review. “Telehealth services are well suited to be used as tools that connect patients to their health care providers in order to prevent diseases from occurring or to help maintain health conditions in order to prevent existing conditions from worsening. However, the savings to an individual’s health care costs that are associated with disease prevention would not be measured to their full effect in a shorter term window, as compared to the longer term (i.e., 30 year) window that these bills propose.”

“Telehealth services offer health care providers the opportunity and the capability to reach broader Medicare beneficiary populations and to serve as disease prevention tools for these populations,” they concluded. “Proponents of the bills believe that passage would allow the CBO to more accurately measure the financial savings associated with any legislation that is intended to broaden access by Medicare beneficiaries to telehealth services.”