PAN Advocate Lends Voice for Congressional Briefing on Telemedicine

Texas State Director Israel Robledo spoke this week during a congressional briefing on telemedicine hosted by Health IT Now.

PAN is a member of Health IT Now, a broad based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, provider performance, patient outcomes, and to lower costs.

The congressional briefing also featured Joel White, Health IT Now’s executive director, Dr. Larry Merkel, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, and Hope Warshaw, a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The audience was comprised mostly of Congressional staff.

Israel joined the other speakers in sharing the importance of telemedicine in delivering care to patients who have mobility issues, live in rural areas, or don’t have access to specialists for care. If telemedicine were available to him, Israel said he would not have to travel about 1,000 miles, round trip, to see his movement disorder specialist in Houston, Texas from his home in Midland, Texas.

“I can definitely benefit from it, along with many of my friends and others in the patient community that want to live productive lives,” Israel said at the briefing. “I've been asked what a movement disorders specialist can do that a neurologist can't. The answer is that they have much more experience and expertise in finding the right combination of medications that work for us…We need much more of this happening, and telemedicine can get us there.”

PAN is working with coalition partners and Members of Congress on legislative solutions to remove current policy barriers to the practice of telemedicine. Current pieces of legislation that PAN has supported are the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2013 and the TELEmedicine for MEDicare Act of 2013. Learn more about these pieces of legislation here.

Read a blog post about the hearing from Health IT Now.

Watch Health IT Now's highlights video for clips from the panel:

Date originally posted: March 14, 2014.