On Friday, the American Telemedicine Association announced a legislative proposal calling for the federal government to expand Medicaid coverage to include telehealth services for women with high-risk pregnancies, Modern Healthcare reports.
The ATA proposal calls for the establishment of electronic "birthing networks" that would allow health care providers to treat conditions such as gestational hypertension, pre-term labor, mild preeclampsia and gestational diabetes through telehealth technology (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 12/19). HHS could use performance reporting to ensure proper quality of care, according to the proposal (ATA release, 12/16).
ATA's proposal is based on the University of Arkansas' ANGELS program, which has managed a birthing network for nearly 10 years (Modern Healthcare, 12/19).
The ATA proposal calls for the use of a shared savings model to encourage health care providers to participate in the birthing networks and for the federal government to cover 90% of the program's costs in its first two years to encourage state adoption (ATA release, 12/16).
ATA noted that an Avalere Health memorandum estimated that the proposal could reduce federal Medicaid spending by up to $186 million over the next 10 years (Modern Healthcare, 12/19).