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Congress Passes VETS Act, Expanding Telehealth Access

May 23, 2018

The National MS Society joins Health IT Now - a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – in celebrating the long-awaited final passage of the VETS Act today as part of the VA MISSION Act.

The National MS Society supported the bill on behalf of the approximately 30,000 veterans living with MS. The bill will expand telehealth access for the 20 million men and women receiving care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Society believes that people living with MS should have access to a comprehensive network of providers and healthcare services focused on producing the best outcomes at affordable costs. Telemedicine is instrumental in achieving that goal because it has the potential to broaden the number of providers available to people living with MS while making it easier and less costly to access and utilize those providers for routine consultations. For these reasons, telemedicine holds great promise for people living with MS, including veterans, in underserved geographic areas– especially in light of the tremendous shortage of MS specialists in the United States healthcare system.

On May 17, 2017 the National MS Society circulated a letter of support to the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs urging passage of the bill. After a year-long campaign the bill now heads to President Trump to be signed into law.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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