Telemonitoring takes a leap forward

Texas decision called 'a triumph'
By Diana Manos
10:52 AM
Continua Health Alliance officials on Wednesday praised the Texas Health and Human Service Commission for the approval of rules allowing Texas Medicaid to begin reimbursing for telemonitoring services and setup, effective October 1.
"With this measure, Texas has become one of the first states to reimburse directly for home telemonitoring services. Continua Health Alliance, a non-profit industry alliance promoting interoperability (simple connectivity) of personal health devices, systems and services, advocated strongly for these changes," said Chuck Parker, executive director of Continua Health Alliance, in a news release. 
"We applaud Texas HHS for its forward-thinking approach to healthcare delivery, which will make healthcare more convenient, accessible and affordable for many Texans," Parker said.
As one of the largest Medicaid programs in the country, Texas Medicaid’s new reimbursement ruling represents important recognition of connected health as a valuable, evidence-based option for care delivery. With millions of new Medicaid subscribers already, it will become even more important to adopt proven, technology-enabled care models such as remote home monitoring, according to Continua. 
"It is imperative that we utilize available technologies to provide more immediate and sustainable care delivery options for our citizens," Parker said. "In a state as large as Texas, where many remote counties have very limited healthcare providers, reimbursement for telemonitoring could save some patients from traveling hundreds of miles for a routine office visit and help many people manage chronic diseases."
Parker called the decision "a triumph" for Continua’s members, the connected health community and organizations dedicated to improving healthcare accessibility, quality and outcomes through remote home monitoring. 
"I am especially proud to have my home state take the lead in delivering quality care to the far reaches of rural America," he added.