BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J., Feb. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Authentidate Holding Corp. (Nasdaq:ADAT), a provider of secure web-based software applications and telehealth products and services for healthcare organizations, today announced its support for a proposed bill, recently introduced in Congress that provides for the use of telehealth solutions as an alternative to in-person healthcare services, including the delivery of patient care by physicians using telehealth solutions across state borders.
Recently, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced a comprehensive bill to improve Medicare and Medicaid coverage for telehealth products and services. Thompson's proposed bill, H.R. 6719, called The Telehealth Promotion Act, would establish a federal reimbursement policy to ensure that no medical benefits are excluded as a result of being furnished over a telecommunications system. This bill removes prior restrictions on the use of telehealth solutions in place of in-person care and provides for reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid for such solutions. This bill is currently pending in the relevant committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the bill is expected to increase access to telemedicine for patients covered by Federal health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which represents nearly 75 million Americans.
Included in the proposed bill are several new provisions that encourage the use of telehealth solutions due to their expected benefits, including improved patient outcomes and reduced patient care costs. One of the new provisions allows physicians to practice medicine using telehealth products and services across state lines without having to be licensed in both states, which is estimated as costing physicians approximately $300 million per year, according to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA). The bill also includes a provision that calls for positive incentives for hospitals that reduce readmissions. Authentidate's telehealth products and services have been designed to enable clinicians to manage patients regardless of their location, to help clinicians reduce emergency readmissions by keeping patients compliant with their clinician-managed care plans and to help improve patient outcomes.