House of Representatives Unanimously Passes Bill to Improve Telehealth Services for Home Dialysis Patients

By Zachary Kribs

In response to concerns of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and peer societies, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a package of legislation on Tuesday, July 25th that includes important provisions that would expand the use of telehealth to facilitate the use of home dialysis. Called the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3178), the legislation includes an earlier bill sponsored by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) that would designate the home as an originating site for telehealth services, allowing patients receiving home dialysis to receive clinical assessments via telehealth in their home. 

A priority of ASN, the expansion of home dialysis through telehealth is crucial for delivering better access to care and improving patient choice, especially for patients living in rural areas. “As a practicing nephrologist, I have seen first-hand the benefits for patients when they dialyze at home. Facilitating access to home dialysis by expanding telehealth is a critical step in improving patient choice such that the patients, not the healthcare system, decide what is best for their health and quality of life,” says ASN President Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN.

The Medicare Part B Improvement Act has received extensive bipartisan support in the House and will now move to consideration by the Senate. ASN thanks members of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees for their extensive leadership on this important legislation, and will continue to urge Congress for its passage, a key step in improving care delivery to home dialysis patients.

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In response to concerns of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) and peer societies, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a package of legislation on Tuesday, July 25th that includes important provisions that would expand the use of telehealth to facilitate the use of home dialysis. Called the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3178), the legislation includes an earlier bill sponsored by Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) that would designate the home as an originating site for telehealth services, allowing patients receiving home dialysis to receive clinical assessments via telehealth in their home. 

A priority of ASN, the expansion of home dialysis through telehealth is crucial for delivering better access to care and improving patient choice, especially for patients living in rural areas. “As a practicing nephrologist, I have seen first-hand the benefits for patients when they dialyze at home. Facilitating access to home dialysis by expanding telehealth is a critical step in improving patient choice such that the patients, not the healthcare system, decide what is best for their health and quality of life,” says ASN President Eleanor D. Lederer, MD, FASN.

The Medicare Part B Improvement Act has received extensive bipartisan support in the House and will now move to consideration by the Senate. ASN thanks members of the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees for their extensive leadership on this important legislation, and will continue to urge Congress for its passage, a key step in improving care delivery to home dialysis patients.

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