WASHINGTON, DC (January 4, 2018): Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – applauded yesterday evening’s Senate passage of S. 925, the VETS Act of 2017.
The legislation, among Health IT Now’s top legislative priorities for the 115th Congress, would remove artificial barriers to telehealth services for veterans by allowing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) telehealth providers to more easily treat patients across state lines. The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). A companion measure with slightly different technical language passed the House last year.
HITN Executive Director Joel White released the following statement:
“Health IT Now applauds the unanimous Senate passage of this critical legislation to propel VA health services into the 21st century and ensure our nation’s heroes have access to the care they need when they need it,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White. “We thank our champions in the Senate, Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), for their steadfast commitment to this solution and urge Congressional leaders to quickly reconcile the House and Senate-passed versions of this measure so that the VETS Act can be enacted without delay.”
Background: Health IT Now has led a years-long, multifaceted advocacy effort supporting this policy solution that included testifying at a House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health roundtable, assembling two-dozen organizations on a formal letter of support, supporting administrative action, and aggressive media outreach. For previous statements related to the VETS Act from Health IT Now, see below:
11/7/17 – Health IT Now Praises House Passage of VETS Act
11/1/17- Health IT Now Submits Comments on VA Proposed Rule, Urges Committee Passage of the VETS Act
9/29/17- Health IT Now Praises Proposed Rule Supporting Goals of the VETS Act
9/26/17 – Health IT Now Assembles Broad Group in Support of Bipartisan VETS Act
9/12/17- Health IT Now’s Joel White Speaks at Congressional Telehealth Roundtable
8/3/17- Health IT Now Applauds VA Telehealth Initiative
4/26/17- HITN Expresses Strong Support of VETS Act
11/18/15- Health IT Now Endorses Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2015
About Health IT Now: Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.