High-Risk Pregnancies

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Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 26 Dec 2011 – 0:00 PST

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A new legislative proposal by The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) aims to expand the use of telemedicine for Medicaid enrollees with high-risk pregnancies and neonatal care needs. If the plan should be adopted, it would mean an improvement in providing care for people who are at-risk, whilst creating substantial long-term savings for the government as well as taxpayers.

Avalere Health has been commissioned by ATA to appraise the proposal using Congressional Budget Office style cost estimating. They established that adopting the plan could save up to $186 million over the next decade.

Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association declared:

“This is a win-win for both patients and Federal taxpayers. We urge Congressional leaders to quickly adopt this proposal and realize these savings.”

Under the proposal, Medicaid would receive telemedicine coverage for mother and unborn care as well as neonatal care through the comprehensive care “birthing network”.

These networks could allow telemedicine technologies to treat serious health conditions related to high-risk pregnancies more effectively, including pre-term labor, mild preeclampsia, gestational hypertension ad gestational diabetes mellitus. The Department of Health and Human Services would ensure the quality of care these networks provide by issuing performance reports.

The idea is based on findings from the Institute of Medicine and builds upon the successful implementation of the University of Arkansas ANGELS Program, which has managed a birthing network cost effectively for almost a decade.

The proposal is based on a shared savings approach to encourage providers to adopt the scheme and a 90% contribution in the first two years from the Federal government to support adoption.

For the complete Avalere memorandum on ATA’s proposal, please visit http://www.americantelemed.org/MedicaidProposal.

Written by Petra Rattue

Copyright: Medical News Today

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