WASHINGTON D.C. July 27, 2022 – The Alliance for Connected Care (the Alliance) applauds U.S. House lawmakers for their commitment to protecting telehealth access through the passage of the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 (H.R. 4040). This legislation would ensure that Medicare beneficiaries continue to have access to telehealth until at least December 31, 2024.
“We are pleased to see the House of Representatives taking action to reduce ambiguity around the future of telehealth in Medicare,” said Krista Drobac, Executive Director of the Alliance for Connected Care. “This legislation will protect crucially needed patient access to care while allowing policymakers to comprehensively analyze telehealth expansion data to permanently expand telehealth for seniors.”
The Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 will ensure that telehealth flexibilities available during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency continue until at least December 31, 2024. It will continue Medicare flexibility around geographic requirements and originating sites, will allow additional practitioners to provide telehealth services, extend payment for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics, allow audio-only telehealth services to continue, and allow recertification of eligibility for hospice care. Importantly, this legislation also delays the implementation of in-person visit requirements prior to the delivery of mental health services through telehealth, which the Alliance has strongly opposed. Requirements for an in-person visit prior to a telehealth visit only serve to create additional barriers to health care access for Medicare beneficiaries in rural and underserved areas.
The Alliance also urges Congress to build on this significant Medicare achievement by acting to extend telehealth first-dollar coverage flexibility for the 32 million Americans that have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Without additional action by Congress, this access will expire on December 31, 2022.
The Alliance for Connected Care looks forward to continuing to work with policymakers in the Senate to ensure comprehensive telehealth legislation is enacted.
The Alliance for Connected Care is dedicated to improving access to care through the reduction of policy, legal and regulatory barriers to the adoption of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. Our members are leading health care and technology organizations from across the spectrum, representing health systems, health payers, and technology innovators. The Alliance works in partnership with an Advisory Board of more than 40 patient and provider groups, including many types of clinician specialty and patient advocacy groups who wish to better utilize the opportunities created by telehealth.