Sat. May 28th, 2022

The epidemic puts pressure on U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation Extend medical coverage For telehealth in 2020, Accelerate a process that would otherwise take years. Since then, attempts have been made to perpetuate the change, through issues like The Telehealth Extension Act of 2021. But there is an interim period that could present some uncertainty as to whether people can access important telehealth services when enacting permanent legislation. Today, a bipartisan team of 45 lawmakers led by Senators Brian Shatz (D-Hawaii) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) They said “Extensive coverage of telehealth services is being called for to be included in the pass law in February, of course.”

The team Has published a letter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as their minority opponents and notable signatories include Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz), Lindsay Graham (RSC), Elizabeth Warren ( D-Mass.) And Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The letter said, “As Congress prepares to enact a permanent telehealth law, we urge you to include an extension of the epidemic telehealth authority to pass a public funding law in February.”

Currently, epidemic telehealth decision makers have temporary authority and this is linked to the declaration of COVID-19 public health emergency. As stated in today’s letter, the emergency declaration has been renewed in three-month increments. “Without more specific knowledge about the duration of the epidemic and the long-term coverage of Medicare’s telehealth, many companies were reluctant to fully invest in telehealth.”

Investing in telehealth would be a long-term investment that would give providers more confidence, while adding an extension when stabilizing telehealth coverage would “reassure patients that their care will not end abruptly.”

The lawmakers called for an extension to “maintain extended coverage of Medicare telehealth services for a specified period of time,” which the letter said would “provide much-needed assurances to healthcare providers and patients.” They believe that an extension would allow additional time to study the impact of telehealth, which could “help inform Congress on next steps regarding sustainable telehealth legislation and appropriate program integrity and beneficiary protection.”

Therefore, the group seeks to ensure that “an extension does not include unnecessary statutory barriers to accessing telehealth services during this data collection and analysis period,” which may prevent people from receiving the necessary care.

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