Daines’ Bill to Promote Telehealth Passes Senate

U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ bipartisan bill to promote the use of telehealth today passed the U.S. Senate. 

The Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the Health Resources and Services Administration, to study technology-enabled collaborative learning and capacity building models and the ability of those models to improve patient care and provider education. 

 “Geographic location should not dictate quality of care,” Daines stated. “This bill will promote opportunities to increasingly open up access to high-quality care in rural communities that is not currently available, such as access to specialists; support and training for rural healthcare providers; and increased resources in healthcare shortage areas.”

Shortly before the vote, Daines took to the Senate floor to highlight the importance of the ECHO Act.

Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.

Click here to download Daines’ remarks. 

 The ECHO Act:

  • Aims to integrate the Project ECHO model into health systems across the country.
  • Project ECHO is an innovative continuing medical education model that uses interactive videoconferencing to link specialist teams with primary care providers in rural and underserved areas.
  • Requires a study at HHS regarding the model and its impact on addressing certain disease conditions, health care workforce issues, the implementation of public health programs, and the delivery of health care services in underserved areas.