Bipartisan Letter from Senators Urges Permanent Expansion of Telehealth

POSTED ON MONDAY, June 22, 2020 

On Monday, June 15th a group of 30 bipartisan senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) requesting that recent expansions and flexibilities made for telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic be made permanent.

When the pandemic began, CMS made changes to telehealth eligibility requirements across multiple sectors. One of those changes was the allowance of telehealth to perform the face-to-face visit for hospice recertification. As with many of telehealth relaxations, this is currently limited to the extent of the public health emergency.

“The Senators go on to state the importance of telehealth in ensuring access to care while reducing the risk of infection and further spread of COVID-19 as additional support for their request.

In addition to the permanency request, the Senators also recommend for data collection and analysis of telehealth usage, “Specifically, the federal government should collect and analyze data on the impact of telehealth on utilization, quality, health outcomes, and spending during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently a scarcity of data available regarding the impact of telehealth on the Medicare program. This data would assist Congress in crafting additional policies to improve health outcomes and use resources more effectively.””

Source: NAHC Report


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