Senate Passes VETS Act
On January 3, the U.S. Senate passed the Veterans in E-Health and Telemedicine Support (VETS) Act of 2017. This legislation will expand the authority of Department of Veterans Affairs medical providers to provide services via telehealth regardless of the state where the practitioner and the patient are physically located. The House passed companion legislation in November. There are slight differences in language between the two bills that will need to be remedied prior to the legislation being sent to President Trump for his signature.
The Academy has previously supported this concept and in late October, filed comments with the Department of Veterans Affairs on a related proposal that would allow VA health care providers, including the approximately 1,300 audiologists employed by the VA, to provide care to patients via telehealth regardless of where the provider or beneficiary is located. VA Secretary David Shulkin asked Congress to pass this legislation to provide explicit authority to implement the proposed rulemaking.