Senator Chuck Grassley today said he has introduced legislation with Senator Mark Begich of Alaska to waive copayments for telehealth and telemedicine visits for veterans. Last year, thousands of Iowa veterans enrolled in Care Coordination Home Telehealth, Clinical Video Telehealth and Teleretinal Imaging telehealth programs in Iowa.
"Telehealth has been a blessing for thousands of our veterans, but we want to make sure that thousands more aren't missing quality health care because of a co-payment. Telehealth has been shown to reduce costs for the VA, all while providing improved services. It's a win-win," Grassley said. "Our veterans deserve to know that they can get the health care they are entitled without breaking the bank."
The legislation would waive the required copayments - sometimes up to $50.00 per visit -- associated with a telehealth visit. Waiving the payments would lessen the burden on veteransand encourage more veterans to take advantage of telehealth programs.
The Telehealth program allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to bring health care closer to the veterans who need it. Telehealth has been especially important to veterans in rural areas and older veterans who have difficulty getting to appropriate clinics to manage their health care.
The Veterans Health Administration Telehealth programs have demonstrated reduced hospital admissions and clinic and emergency room visits, and contributed to an improved quality of life for our veterans.