The Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to maximize telehealth’s ability to improve health outcomes, care delivery, and cost effectiveness.

CCHP Newsroom

  • A New York Blue Braces For a Big Dose of Telehealth

    Internet Health Management

    A New York Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan is expecting some heavy-duty traffic when the health insurer rolls out digital doctor visits in January. The Blue Cross plan—Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which covers 1.5 million members in upstate New York—says it expects as many as 50,000 visits to a new soon-to-be launched telehealth service. In January, Excellus will roll out a telehealth program using the services of MDLive Medical Group, a telehealth platform developer and service provider based in Sunrise, Fla., with a network of 800 doctors. Excellus expects plenty of calls, says  senior vice president and corporate medical officer Martin Lustick. “The ideal method for having minor medical conditions addressed is to see your doctor,” Lustick says. “But if your doctor can’t see you immediately for an office visit, ask whether he or she can address the issue with telemedicine. And if that isn’t available, other telemedicine providers, such as MDLive, can address most of those common conditions and prescribe medicine when medically indicated.” Excellus is set to offer telemedicine visits to all plan members and members insured through Medicare Advantage. 

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  • Bipartisan Legislation Proposes Telehealth Solutions for Effective Chronic Disease Management

    The National Law Review

    Collaborative efforts between congressional offices and various health care stakeholders, as well as the feedback provided in response to the Bipartisan CHRONIC Care Working Group Policy Options Document released in December of 2015, have driven the Senate Finance Committee to introduce a draft of bipartisan legislation known as the CHRONIC Care Act, which seeks to modernize Medicare payment policies to improve the management and treatment of chronic diseases using telehealth. As a result of the collaborative efforts between congressional offices and various health care stakeholders, and the feedback provided in response to the Bipartisan CHRONIC Care Working Group Policy Options Document released in December of 2015, the Senate Finance Committee recently introduced a draft of bipartisan legislation known as the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes necessary to Improve CHRONIC Care Act of 2016 (the CHRONIC Care Act). The CHRONIC Care Act seeks to modernize Medicare payment policies to improve the management and treatment of chronic diseases using telehealth. Over the past several years, there has been increased attention by Congress and federal agencies on prevention, management and treatment of chronic conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, as they are long-lasting and persistent health problems that require continuous, expensive care. 

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  • Senate Unanimously Passes Telemedicine Legislation

    mHealth Intelligence

    A telemedicine program born at the University of New Mexico is set to become a national model for pushing healthcare into remote and underserved regions. The Senate on Tuesday approved by a 97-0 vote S. 2873, the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act. The bill places UNM’s five-year-old groundbreaking Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) on a national stage, setting the wheels in motion for a national network of hub-and-spoke telemedicine platforms to provide education and collaboration opportunities for healthcare providers in hard-to-reach areas. “We’re now one step closer to supporting new ways to train health providers and deliver healthcare,” Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), who co-sponsored the bill this past April with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), said in a press release. “Technology is changing the way medical professionals connect with each other and their patients.  Our bill capitalizes on this technology to give health professionals in hard-to-reach areas the specialized training they need and help them reach more patients.” “On a recent visit to southern Utah, I had the opportunity to visit a rural health center and speak to some of the families that rely on services included in the ECHO Act,” Hatch added in the release. “Some of these individuals had health conditions that required specialized care or could be managed much closer to home by health professionals they know and trust. By using technology to connect patients and providers, this bill will benefit Utah’s families by helping them receive the care they need, when they need it.  I’m grateful for the valuable input Utah’s health leaders have provided in crafting this proposal.” 

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