Congress Facing Pressure to Pass Telehealth Bill for Senior Care

Connected care advocates are pressuring Congress to pass the RUSH Act, which aims to increase telehealth and telemedicine services in senior care facilities.

Connected care advocates are lobbying Congress to pass the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act of 2018, which aims to reduce rehospitalizations at qualified skilled nursing facilities by giving them more incentives to use telemedicine and telehealth to improve patient care.

“Skilled nursing facilities are often faced with few options to treat residents in need of emergency care, leading to excessive and costly hospital transfers,” the lawmakers said in a joint press release. “However, allowing medical professionals already working within these facilities to provide needed emergency care through telehealth, the RUSH Act will offer Medicare recipients with better access to care at a lower cost to taxpayers.”

“This bill would use the technology of today to change this broken status quo, instantly bringing the capabilities of an emergency room right to the patient’s bedside,” she wrote. “The RUSH Act is our chance to move Medicare into the 21st century; stemming the nursing home to hospital pipeline and giving these facilities the technology-enabled tools needed to lower health care costs and, most importantly, save lives.”

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Courtney Larson

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