On September 21, 2016, Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives aimed at improving Medicare accountable care organizations ("ACO"). The ACO Improvement Act, which would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act, is intended to improve health outcomes through greater beneficiary engagement, including by improving care coordination through telehealth. Among other things, the Act provides that the Secretary of HHS shall grant a waiver to ACOs to have the restrictions on the use of telehealth contained in Section 1834 of the Social Security Act ("special payment rules for particular items and services"), such as limitations on originating site and the use of store-and-forward technologies, not apply. In addition, the law clarifies that ACOs are not prevented from paying for remote patient monitoring and home-based video conferencing services in connection with the provision of home health services in a manner that is not more expensive than a home health visit.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.