Push underway to expand telehealth services

Capital News Service
LANSING—A new federal proposal co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters would expand access to health care, especially in rural areas. The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act would require Medicare to work with local providers to expand their telehealth services. “Telehealth has revolutionized health care, helping more patients receive life-saving treatment, and we must ensure that people living in rural areas have equal access to the care they need,” Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, said in an announcement. According to the ehealth Center at the University of Michigan, telemedicine uses “telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical care at a distance. These technologies enable convenient and private communications between patients and medical staff, as well as the secure transmission of medical, imaging, and health informatics data from one site to another.”
Laura Wotruba, director of public affairs at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, said some member hospitals use telemedicine and the association wants to develop it more.