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RemoteICU sues over HHS telehealth restrictions

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RemoteICU, a Florida-based company that connects intensivists living overseas with U.S. hospitals via telemedicine, has sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services over the agency’s telehealth restrictions.

Despite HHS instituting waivers making tele-ICU services payable under Medicare, RICU says it has been unable to expand its services to more hospitals – because the agency disallows payment for critical-care telemedicine if the physician is located outside the United States.

“That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of what telehealth is,” said Jesse Panuccio, partner at Boies Schiller Flexner and counsel for RemoteICU, in an interview with Healthcare IT News .

“HHS’s regulatory thinking needs to catch up to technology,” he added. “Unfortunately, they seem to be stuck in a 1960s view of medicine.”

HHS did not respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

WHY IT MATTERS According to Panuccio, RICU works with dozens of U.S.-licensed, board-certified intensivists who were trained in the United States and have practice experience there.Although the physicians live abroad, they serve as full-time, permanent staff members of the hospitals where they care for patients.This allows them, says Panuccio, to both fill in healthcare shortage gaps and to cover night shifts during their daytime hours.Panuccio and RICU argue that the company’s […]

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