Earlier this year, Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) re-introduced the “Veterans E-Health & Telemedicine Support Act of 2015,” or the “VETS Act of 2015,” to make it easier to for veterans to receive medical care through telemedicine.
This legislation would allow health care providers to treat veterans using telemedicine, even if the veteran is located in a State where the health care professional is not licensed. Specifically, the VETS Act would allow any health care professionals employed or under contract with the Veterans Administration — even those located outside of federal facilities — to use telemedicine to provide treatment to veterans, irrespective of any other provision of law.
The VETS Act has 18 co-sponsors (both Republicans and Democrats) and has been referred to the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Congressman Rangel had previously introduced similar legislation in the last Congress.
Although the VETS Act’s prospects for passage are unclear, it is another indicator of bipartisan support in Congress to use telemedicine to efficiently deliver care in federal health care programs.