Veterans eHealth & Telemedicine

Currently in the US, the Department of Veteran Affairs may waive click to enlargethe state license requirements for telemedicine services if both the healthcare professional and the patient are located at facilities owned by the Federal Government, according to Sen Joni Ernst from Iowa (see Ernst pushes for expansion of telehealth care for veterans). She is introducing the Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act in the Senate which, if enacted, would permit VA to allow the use of any location, such as a patient’s home. This, it is argued, will give better access to elderly, disabled and rural veterans. Ernst says that with 21 million veterans nationwide and 12% of veterans receiving some form of telehealth care in 2014 this could reduce costs for the VA. It is. however, not clear how many of the veterans receiving telemedicine care necessarily need out-of-state healthcare professionals to provide that care.

A similar Act is being introduced (or rather, re-introduced) in the House of Representatives by Rep Charles Rangel, a Democrat from New York with 18 co-sponsors (see E-Health Legislative Summary: The Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act of 2015). That act has previously been introduced in the House in 2012 and 2013 according Govtrack and its chances of being enacted this time round are considered very low (1%).

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