Ferrante Dismisses Common Telemedicine-Cost Perceptions, Summarizes Senators’ Legislative Strategies

30 October 2017 MedPage Today News
Attorney TJ Ferrante was quoted in a MedPage Today article, “Telehealth Advocates Push for Expanded Use,” discussing why the perception that telemedicine will raise Medicare costs is inaccurate, and explaining why senators are floating multiple telemedicine bills – rather than just one – around Congress.

On the high-costs perception, Ferrante explained: “In 2016, Medicare spent about $28.7 million on telehealth services, and that might be a big number, but when it's put into perspective, the overall Medicare budget is about $600-plus billion, so that's an infinitesimal drop in the bucket ... A lot of the concern that telehealth is going to cause costs [to skyrocket] isn't based in reality.”

In conversation about the multiple bills floating around Congress, including the CONNECT Act and the CHRONIC Care Act, Ferrante said, “I think the approach this year is that they weren't sure if one bill with all these bells and whistles was going to pass, so let's have five, six or seven different pieces of legislation [that might get attached to bigger bills].”