Merritt Group Blog

COLLABORATION with Alliance for Connected Care

This past February represented the first real chance we have had to change Medicare payment policy for telehealth and remote patient monitoring. While the commercial market adopts these tools at a rapid rate, there is virtually no access for seniors in Medicare. This issue got a powerful boost on February 3, with the introduction of the CONNECT for Health Act in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. To take a more in-depth look at this topic, and some of the biggest hurdles in the space, we are hosting a series of blogs from industry expert Krista Drobac. Over the next month we will be featuring several of her most popular posts. 

With nearly twenty years of experience in federal and state government, and in public affairs, Drobac provides strategic advice on a broad range of state and federal legislative and regulatory issues around Medicaid, Medicare, delivery system reform, the Affordable Care Act, public health and other areas. She has represented clients across the spectrum, including insurance companies, pharma, providers and digital technology companies.

As the former director of the Health Division at the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices, Drobac directed technical assistance for governor's’ health advisors in the areas of health insurance exchanges, Medicaid, health IT, delivery system reform and public health programs.

In order to learn a bit more, we sat down with Krista to answer a couple of questions. 

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What is the Alliance for Connected Care?

The Alliance is a 501(c)(6) organization formed to create a statutory and regulatory environment in which providers  can deliver and be adequately  compensated  for providing safe, high quality care using connected care at his or her discretion, regardless of care delivery  location  or  technological  modality.  Our members are leading health  care companies from  across  the spectrum,   representing   insurers,  retail  pharmacies,  technology companies,  telecommunications companies, and health care entrepreneurs.  The Alliance works in partnership with an Advisory Board that includes more than 20 patient and provider groups.


What is Connected Care and why is it so important?

Telehealth technologies and services or “connected care” is critical to modernizing our health care system.  Connected care is the real-time, electronic communication between a patient and a provider, including telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and secure email communication between clinicians and their patients.  With the development of innovative health care technologies and the implementation of new care delivery and payment models, connected care is offering new and more efficient ways to furnish health care to patients.  Indeed, through connected care, health care providers can remotely communicate with their patients and other health care providers across care settings through iPads, laptops, and smartphones, patients and their caregivers can be more engaged in the delivery of their own care, and patients with limited access to health care providers can be treated in less costly and more convenient care settings, such as their homes and local retail clinics.  

What are some of the biggest barriers, in your opinion, to Connected Care in the U.S. and where should people go if they are interested in learning more? 

Lack of reimbursement in public programs, standards of care issues at state level, licensure are some of the biggest barriers to Connected Care. To explore the benefits of connected care or to join the Alliance please visit www.connectwithcare.org.

Topics: Healthcare Telemedicine