Bill Analysis of CONNECT for Health Act of 2019
Summary of Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, from Center for Connected Health Policy
The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 is intended to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to expand access to telehealth services, and for other purposes. The Center for Connected Health Policy has published a comprehensive analysis of the bill, which can be accessed here.
The CONNECT Act’s 'findings' section concludes that because it has been found that health care providers can furnish safe, effective, and high-quality health care services through telehealth, and that telehealth can also help with workforce shortages and contribute to the expertise of health care workers through specialty consultations, barriers to the use of telehealth in the Medicare program should be removed.
Of particular interest to Community Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers is the following excerpt from the end of the bill analysis: The CONNECT Act also makes FQHCs and RHCs an eligible distant site for telehealth delivered services. This has been a significant barrier for community health centers (CHCs) wanting to provide services to underserved communities, but unable due to the lack of reimbursement in Medicare. Many Medicaid programs have already allowed them to serve as eligible distant sites for exactly this reason.