Sen. Orrin Hatch talks to reporters on Capitol Hill. (JOSHUA ROBERTS/REUTERS)
September 27, 2017
A bill to help chronic health sufferers passes by the Senate.
Lawmakers are coming together to reform Medicare by passing the CHRONIC Care Act.
The legislation was brought up for a voice vote on Tuesday night on the Senate floor with bipartisan support.
The CHRONIC Care Act is also known as the “Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care Act.”
Its goal is to help people with Medicare Advantage policies to manage their conditions, and to lower medical costs.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill does “just that.”
Its report shows the savings in health care costs would be about the same as a smaller House bill to increase funding for telehealth services like Skype, which would be $80 million saved in a 10 year span.
The Senate version would allow patients, including those on dialysis, to receive care at home instead of in a medical facility.
It also allows them to chat with their doctors via a telehealth service.
The bill was first introduced to the Senate in April before it passed through the Finance Committee.
The committee’s chair and the bill’s sponsor Orrin Hatch said it will not increase the country’s deficit.
During a committee hearing in May, medical experts were all in favor of the measure.
One expert testified that access to technology that improves doctor-patient communication would not just be convenient, but speed up care.
Another said remote technology would save money on future medical costs in the event of another stroke or other illness.
The Senate now passes the legislation on to the House for its consideration.
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