La Jolla Patch - Peters Bill Would Cover Telehealth Services for Military, Veterans
Because of provider shortages at local practices, many service members and veterans lack access to a primary-care physician, and in rural communities patients often must travel extended distances, Peters' office said in a statement about the bill.
The legislation introduced would leverage innovative technologies already in use – including audio and video conferencing, smart devices, and remote monitoring – to bring the doctor to the patient.
The 21st Century Care for Military & Veterans Act would establish and expand reimbursement policies covering the use of telehealth services, including essential mental health monitoring, under the military's TRICARE and the Veterans Administration.
“As we look for ways to provide the best-quality care for our service members and veterans, telehealth technologies are increasingly important to the full range of options we should be offering,” Peters said.
"The proposed bill would most certainly extend the range and ease of service to veterans through the telehealth technology that has shown excellent results already. This is a good move for veterans and their families," said Gary Rossio, former CEO of the VA Medical Center in San Diego.
Peters, a Democrat from La Jolla, represents Coronado, La Jolla, Carmel Valley, Rancho Penasquitos, 4S Ranch, Rancho Bernardo and Poway, among other communities in San Diego.