BALTIMORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Don Berwick, MD, current Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Mark McClellan, past Administrator of CMS, jointly spoke at the ATA Summit 2010, delivering impassioned arguments for the increased adoption and reimbursement for telemedicine services. Both leaders urged the need for greater collaboration between CMS and the telemedicine community to improve the quality of medical services, expand access to underserved populations and reduce healthcare costs.
McClellan’s comments focused on telemedicine’s huge potential cost savings. Given an impending budget crunch, telemedicine will become an essential element of the U.S. healthcare system, providing world-class medical services to a growing number of beneficiaries. Berwick emphasized telemedicine’s capacity to improve patient care, reduce medical errors and empower consumers.
“The support of these two national leaders in healthcare reflects the growing consensus for telemedicine,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association. “It is particularly telling that this support is bipartisan. Today, we have heard CMS administrators from both Republican and Democratic administrations endorsing the adoption of telemedicine into the mainstream practice of healthcare."
CMS is the federal agency responsible for administering Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP.) It is the largest payer for healthcare in the US and, as such, sets the benchmark for other payers—including many private insurers. The new CMS Center for Innovation and Strategic Planning will invest $10B over the next ten years to explore new payment and service delivery models for healthcare. Dr. Berwick has voiced strong support for telemedicine as a cost-effective and high-quality tool for delivering health services.
The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its diverse membership, work to fully integrate telemedicine into transformed healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Established in 1993 as a non-profit organization and headquartered in Washington, DC, membership in the Association is open to individuals, healthcare institutions, companies and other organizations with an interest in promoting the deployment of telemedicine.