September 21, 2022
NAHC has joined other health care stakeholders in writing a letter to leaders in both parties in the Senate, urging them to make permanent the current telehealth flexibilities created to deal with the public health emergency (PHE).
Expanded access to telehealth during the PHE has been transformational; patients now expect and often prefer telehealth as a key component of our health care system and providers have been able to reach many patients that previously had access barriers through virtual care. This is particularly concerning for those utilizing telehealth to reach experts at longer distances, for access to mental and behavioral health practitioners, and those receiving ongoing remote care for chronic conditions.
As such, they are urging the Senate to act this fall to ensure certainty for telehealth services. As demonstrated by the House – which passed the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act (H.R. 4040) by a vote of 416-12 – telehealth is an overwhelmingly bipartisan issue. The Senate should act to pass a two-year extension of these important telehealth policies, while continuing to push for a permanent extension, which includes provisions to lift provider and patient location limitations, remove in-person requirements for telemental health, ensure continued access to clinically appropriate controlled substances without in-person requirements, and increase access to telehealth services in the commercial market.
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