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Telemedicine: a Modern-Day Cure for an Age-Old Problem | Commentary

The Telehealth Enhancement Act was also crafted with our current budget outlook in mind. As the cost and volume of health care increases with the growth of the Medicare population, we must find ways to ensure the long-term viability of the program. In fact, we believe that when the Congressional Budget Office officially scores our legislation, it will determine that our bill saves money for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. We achieve these savings by building on existing payment innovations, providing incentives for fewer hospital readmissions, encouraging the use of accountable care organizations and enhancing acute hospital-service bundles.

Even though the changes proposed in the Telehealth Enhancement Act are small, they will have an enormous impact on health care prices and patient access, especially in rural and underserved communities. This is our attempt to devise a modern-day solution to an age-old problem.

Reps. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee; Reps. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and Devin Nunes, R-Calif., serve on the Ways and Means Committee.

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