INSIDE ATA, a mid-week update for ATA members, provides an insider view of telemedicine news and featured ATA activities

CMS Answers Call for Telehealth by ACOs
Today, ATA gratefully acknowledges that after three years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finally answered ATA’s petitions and may soon allow Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to use telehealth to keep their patients healthy.

On Monday, in a 429-page proposed rulemaking, CMS indicated an openness to cover telehealth services under the payment innovation of Medicare’s ACOs.

For several years, ATA has urged the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain restrictions on ACOs’ use of telemedicine, thereby expanding telehealth coverage to the 80 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who reside in metropolitan areas, and also to all beneficiaries who receive treatment in their homes (or in locations other than one of the previously designated types of health facilities).

Many members of Congress have supported such action with three pending bipartisan legislative plans:
• Standard Growth Rate Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act (S. 2000 and H.R. 4015)
• Telehealth Enhancement Act (S. 2662 and H.R. 3306)
• Accountable Care Organization Improvement Act (H.R. 5558)

Read the full release (with links to the full proposal) here: http://www.americantelemed.org/news-landing/2014/12/02/cms-answers-american-telemedicine-association-s-call-for-telehealth-by-acos

Register for Part Two in the Telemedicine Reimbursement Webinar Series – Deadline Today!

The ATA Business and Finance Special Interest Group recently launched a four-part webinar series focused on critical information regarding reimbursement for telemedicine services. Part Two of the series, “Physician Reimbursement Models in Telehealth,” will feature presentations by Natasa Sokolovich, JD, MSHCPM, Executive Director of Telemedicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Sarah Sossong, MPH, FACHE, Director of Telehealth, Massachusetts General Hospital; and ATA Business & Finance Vice Chair Taylan Bozkurt, Operations and Financial Specialist, Massachusetts General Hospital. The event will take place tomorrow from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. EST (the deadline to pre-register is TODAY!), and will be recorded for purchase for those unable to attend. If you missed part one, “Telehealth Reimbursement: Current Issues,” a recording is now available for purchase on the ATA Learning Center (available HERE).

Register for tomorrow’s webinar and learn more her HERE

Giving Tuesday: Contribute to ATA’s Educational Initiative to Advance Telemedicine

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back during a season of gift-giving, we hope you will consider contributing to ATA’s Educational Initiative.

ATA’s Educational Initiative will accomplish three specific objectives:
1 – Provide a series of educational resources about the deployment of telemedicine targeted to health systems, providers and governments to help expand their use of telemedicine;
2 – Develop, distribute and promote the use of practice guidelines that will improve the delivery of telemedicine services; and
3 – Through ATA’s International Fund, facilitate online and in-person education for professionals from underdeveloped nations and promote the use of telemedicine to provide international aid.

As you know, ATA’s mission is “to promote professional, ethical and equitable improvement in health care delivery through telecommunications and information technology.” For 21 years, ATA has been working with leaders in government, health systems and industry to lay the groundwork that is now beginning to bloom for telemedicine and all its many forms from mHealth to connected care.

We are currently seeking donations to help achieve our mission to improve quality, access, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Donors will be acknowledged on the ATA website, and those who donate $500 or more will also receive special recognition at the Annual Meeting May 3-5, 2015 in Los Angeles.

With over 8,000 members worldwide, together we now have the opportunity to make the promise of telemedicine a reality. I hope you consider making a donation to ATA this year!

Learn more and donate at: http://www.americantelemed.org/about-ata/donate-to-ata#.VE6k1_nF81I ATA is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions to ATA are tax deductible.

—Source: American Telemedicine Association

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