Telehealth is seen as a venue for improving healthcare access in vulnerable populations through use of electronic devices in the patient's home that monitor and assess for early complications. Major technological advances have improved telehealth services, prompting introduction of federal legislation for reimbursement of telehealth care. Yet, policymakers have stalled passage based on several concerns. This article conducted a policy analysis of HR1601, one of the most recent Congressional proposals for telehealth. The policy analysis was based on 3 criteria: quality of telehealth services, impact of telehealth on patient outcomes, and political feasibility. Overall, the concerns regarding quality, impact on patient outcomes, and feasibility are outweighed by the benefits of using telehealth to extend care. Federal funding of telehealth through passage of legislation, such as HR1601, is a good first step to establishing further evidence for its capabilities, and it could lead to a more comprehensive approach to quality care.
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