In this episode of the Accelerate Health podcast, host John Sharp is joined by Jody Hoffman, senior partner at Republic Consulting, LLC, and connected health policy advisor for the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA). Hoffman is an expert in health policy, and has advised PCHA members for a decade through her role in our U.S. Policy Work Group. Hoffman addresses many questions about the future of telehealth policy, remote patient monitoring, and other healthcare topics under the new administration.
The discussion begins with consideration of the waivers passed by Congress allowing for expanded telehealth use during the national health emergency. These waivers allowed Medicare beneficiaries to access telehealth services in ways that were formerly restricted by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rules, as well as allowing hospitals to expand telehealth use with reduced privacy and security requirements. This expansion proved to be a lifeline for many hospitals and healthcare practices early in the pandemic. The question on everyone’s mind is what happens as the COVID-19 emergency winds down? Sharp and Hoffman explore the future of connected health policy, the telehealth waivers and some of the changes that also enabled remote monitoring for Medicare patients.
The discussion moves to broader health IT priorities and some insight into the potential priorities of the incoming administration and new congress. There remains broad agreement that public health infrastructure will take center stage in the coming years and the focus of health IT modernization will begin to shift from EHRs and patient record access to more public health-focused data sharing.
Looking towards other regulatory agencies, the conversation ranges from the Food and Drug Administration’s Digital Health Center of Excellence to other recent rules including interoperability and privacy rules issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and CMS. Sharp and Hoffman also take a quick look ahead at a possible introduction of Cures 2.0, an update to the 21st Century Cures Act.
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