Health Policy Round Up 4.26.19


This week in Sacramento many bills telehealth-related bills made their way out of the Assembly Health Committee on to Appropriations. In particular, AB 744, which would establish payment parity for telehealth services, made it out of Senate Health but faces uncertainty due to health plan opposition and a CHBRP estimate of a total increase in health care costs of $278.2M if the bill passes. Advocates may be hopeful, as New Mexico just passed its own payment parity bill.


Legislative/Regulatory Developments

News Articles

Research & Reports

Funding Opportunities

Forthcoming Policy Hearings and Meetings

Legislative/Regulatory Developments

Other States

Illinois HB 3795: Budget bill would allocate $3.4M for a host of health IT priorities, including broadband development

  • assigned to Appropriations-Capital Committee, no votes have been taken yet

Nevada AB 426: Creates a committee to oversee health IT activities with providers, including broadband access

  • No votes taken yet

Oregon HB 2173: Creates Oregon Broadband Office to coordinate state broadband activities

  • referred to Ways and Means Committee

Oregon HB 2184: Imposes a tax of $4 to $8 on cellphones to raise funds for broadband development in rural areas

  • passed Economic Development Committee, referred to Ways and Means Committee

Texas SB 1206: Creates the Governor’s Broadband Council

  • pending in Senate Business and Commerce Committee

Washington SB 5511: Creates the Governor’s Broadband Office

  • passed House and Senate, sent to Governor for signature

Washington SB 5553: Budget bill allocates $800,000 to expanding broadband access

  • pending in Senate Ways and Means Committee

News Articles


ACP Internist: ACP releases survey results about telehealth technology availability, use among internists
In survey released on April 11 by the American College of Physicians, 51% of internal medicine physicians are part of practices that use at least one of five telehealth services, including video visits, e-consults, remote patient monitoring, remote care management/coaching, and integration of data from patient wearables.

Research & Reports


WHO Guideline: Recommendations on digital health interventions for health system strengthening. The Guideline’s recommendations address a subset of prioritized digital health interventions accessible via mobile devices and “will gradually include a broader set of emerging digital health interventions over subsequent versions.”

ATA White Paper: Telehealth Interoperability — Driving Choice, Continuity, and Scale  Interoperability is critical to telehealth’s ability to attain efficiency, productivity, quality, and financial sustainability and resolve the challenges of performance tracking, reimbursement, and incentives.

American Well White Paper: Telehealth Index: 2019 Physician Survey A survey of 800 physicians reveals that physician telehealth adoption is an an “inflection point”. Since 2015 adoption has expanded 340%, an accelerated rate that, in combination with expanding government support and reimbursement, will “fuel enormous growth in the future.”

Funding Opportunities


HRSA: Innovations in Access to Care for Children and Youth with Epilepsy This program supports the use of telehealth to improve youth health care transition processes and communication and collaboration between primary and specialty care for children and youth with epilepsy (CYE) in medically underserved and/or rural areas. Proposals due 4/22/19.

NIH & AHRQ: Planning Grants for Pragmatic Research in Healthcare Settings to Improve Diabetes and Obesity Prevention and Care (R34 Clinical Trial Required) This funding opportunity seeks proposals for pilots addressing diabetes and obesity prevention with a “focus on approaches with the potential to be broadly disseminated outside the specific setting where it is being tested”. Proposals due 5/14/19.

NIH & AHRQ: Pragmatic Research in Healthcare Settings to Improve Diabetes and Obesity Prevention and Care (R18 Clinical Trial Required) This funding seeks proposals to test innovative strategies for diabetes and obesity prevention in “healthcare settings where individuals receive their medical care”. Proposals due 5/14/19

NIH: Use of Technology to Enhance Patient Outcomes and Prevent Illness (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) NIH is seeking proposals on the use of technologies, including remote healthcare, that improve patient outcomes. Ongoing standard NIH application dates.

USDA: Distance Leaning & Telemedicine Grants USDA’s telemedicine grants seek proposals to support the reduction of SUD morbidity and mortality in high-risk rural communities by expanding prevention, treatment and/or recovery capacities at community, county, state, and/or regional levels. Proposals due 5/15/19.

Forthcoming Policy Hearings and Meetings


April 22nd: Assembly Budget Subcommittee on HHS, Informational Hearing

April 23rd: Assembly Health Committee, Bill Hearing

April 24th: Senate Health Committee, Bill Hearing

April 25th: Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health, Informational Hearing

April 29th: California Health Care Foundation Briefing: Improving Quality in Medi-Cal Managed Care

May 6th: California Health Care Foundation Briefing: Expanding the Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners