Comments & Letters2021-04-12T07:50:00-04:00
810, 2021

Alliance Statement for the Record to Senate Commerce Hearing on: ““State of Telehealth: Removing Barriers to Access and Improving Patient Outcomes”

October 8th, 2021|

ALLIANCE FOR CONNECTED CARE STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD “State of Telehealth: Removing Barriers to Access and Improving Patient Outcomes" The Alliance submitted a letter to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Communications, Media, and Broadband Subcommittee on a hearing examining the importance of access to telehealth services, and the role that broadband plays in the public health response. Our statement summarizes the following recommendations: Congress should invest in efforts that support broadband affordability for patients and providers. Congress must continue to coordinate with other federal agencies to ensure improvements are being made to our taxpayer-funded programs, and that [...]

2009, 2021

Alliance Joins Letter Calling on CMS to Address Critical Access Hospital Telehealth

September 20th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care joined roughly 20 other groups in calling on CMS to address Critical Access Hospital (CAH) telehealth. "We agree that telehealth payment should be addressed for Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and also believe outpatient behavioral therapy services offered by Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) are a key component of a comprehensive rural behavioral health strategy."

1509, 2021

Alliance Joins Congressional Letter to Support Telehealth Resource Centers

September 15th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care joined a letter this week to Senate HELP Chair Murray and Ranking Member Blunt requesting funding support for the Telehealth Resource Centers (TRC) program in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This increase in funding would provide a critical boost to the TRCs, which have experienced a high of an 800% increase in demand for telehealth assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic across the nation, yet have been level-funded since 2006. 

1309, 2021

Comment Letter on CY 2022 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

September 13th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care submitted comments on the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule for calendar year (CY) 2022, which includes several important reforms with respect to telehealth. The Alliance applauds the proposal to retain all Category 3 telehealth codes through the end of Calendar Year (CY) 2023 to provide an opportunity to collect and study data on the telehealth experience during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In advance of our more detailed response the Alliance emphasized the following overarching priorities: A great deal of confusion continues to exist around the authority of the Administration to [...]

2607, 2021

430+ Organizations Urge Congress to Address ‘Telehealth Cliff’

July 26th, 2021|

430 Organizations Urge Congress to Address ‘Telehealth Cliff’ Letter to Congressional Leaders Highlights Telehealth Priorities Washington, DC – July 26, 2021 – Today, 430 organizations sent a letter to Congress to urge policymakers to address the “telehealth cliff.” The letter was co-led by the Alliance for Connected Care, American Telemedicine Association, Consumer Technology Association, eHealth Initiative, HIMSS, Health Innovation Alliance, Partnership to Advance Virtual Care, and PCHAlliance. If Congress does not act before the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), Medicare beneficiaries will lose access to virtual care options which have become a lifeline to many. The [...]

1607, 2021

Alliance Submits Comments to Cures 2.0

July 16th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care provided input into the draft Cures 2.0 legislation released in late June that will build upon the important legacy of the 21st Century Cures Act. A copy of the full Cures 2.0 discussion draft circulating now among lawmakers is available here. A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here. The draft legislation includes several telehealth provisions including: Sec. 402. Strategies to Increase Access to Telehealth under Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program: collaborating with Reps. Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Burgess (R-TX) to include the Telehealth Improvement for Kids’ Essential Services (TIKES) Act. This policy would [...]

1905, 2021

Alliance Statement for the Record to Senate Finance Hearing on COVID-19 Health Care Flexiblities

May 19th, 2021|

ALLIANCE FOR CONNECTED CARE STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD “COVID-19 Health Care Flexibilities: Perspectives, Experiences, and Lessons Learned” The Alliance submitted a letter to the Senate Finance Committee  on the "COVID-19 Health Care Flexibilities: Perspectives, Experiences, and Lessons Learned.” The Alliance will focus comments on 1) Research and evidence we have gathered thus far; 2) Recommendations for future telehealth expansion that Congress should consider – including steps to ensure equitable access; and 3) Recommendations for telehealth “guardrail” provisions that Congress should consider to prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the health care system. While we prefer the implementation of permanent [...]

2804, 2021

Alliance Statement for the Record to House Ways & Means Committee Hearing on Telehealth

April 28th, 2021|

ALLIANCE FOR CONNECTED CARE STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD “Charting the Path Forward for Telehealth” The Alliance submitted a letter to the House Ways & Means Committee, Subcommittee on Health on the "Charting the Path Forward for Telehealth.” The Alliance provided: 1) recommendations for telehealth expansions that Congress should consider – including steps to ensure equitable access, 2) comments about telehealth research and evidence, and 3) recommendations for telehealth “guardrail” provisions that Congress could consider, if it is believed they are necessary.

1204, 2021

Alliance Letter to ONDCP Special Telemedicine Registration

April 12th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care sent the attached letter to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) applauding their inclusion of the telemedicine special registration for the prescribing of controlled substances this year as part of the Biden Administration’s First-Year Drug Policy Priorities. The Biden Administration outlined its drug policy priorities for its first year, stressing harm reduction, racial equity and helping people with substance use disorder find employment. As part of the announcement there was included a commitment to move forward the special registration for telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances this year. As you remember, [...]

604, 2021

Group Letter to HHS Secretary Becerra on Virtual DPP

April 6th, 2021|

Roughly 20 organizations, including the Alliance for Connected Care have signed a letter asking Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to extend Medicare coverage for virtual visits during the PHE and “work on longer-term reforms” that would make connected health a permanent part of the program. Given the ongoing and worsening prediabetes challenges facing seniors, expectations that the PHE will continue throughout 2021, and the cessation of many in-person DPP programs, we believe CMS must act immediately to preserve access to these services. We believe that the Department of Health and Human Services should immediately use its emergency [...]

3003, 2021

Alliance Letter of Support for Texas SB 992

March 30th, 2021|

The Alliance submitted a letter of support to Senator Kelly Hancock, Chair of the Texas Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, for Senate Bill 992. The bill would allow health professionals located outside of the state of Texas to provide telehealth services to patients residing within the state of Texas so long as they are licensed and authorized to provide the service in the state in which they are licensed. The bill would maintain that the standard of care for such services would be the same as for health professionals providing in-person health care services to a patient, and [...]

2703, 2021

Alliance Letter of Support for Illinois HB 580

March 27th, 2021|

The Alliance submitted a letter of support to Marcus Evans, Jr., the Chair of the Illinois House Labor and Commerce Committee, for House Bill 580. The bill would amend the Nurse Practice Act to approve the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows for issuance of multistate licenses that allow nurses to practice in their home state and other compact states. The bill is critical because it allows for mutual recognition of state licenses between states participating in the compact. One of the biggest barriers to telehealth becoming a regular patient and provider choice is the administrative burden caused by variation [...]

2703, 2021

Alliance Letter of Support for Illinois HB 366

March 27th, 2021|

The Alliance submitted a letter of support to Theresa Mah, the Chair of the Illinois House Health Care Licenses Committee, for House Bill 366. The bill would require the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to issue or deny a license no later than 30 days after completion of the application for practical nurse and registered professional nurse licensure. The Alliance believes that quickly approving licensure applications will help ensure eligible nurses are working, and will ultimately improve access to health care. Read the full letter here and below:

203, 2021

Alliance Written Testimony – New York FY2022 Executive Budget

March 2nd, 2021|

The Alliance submitted written testimony for the New York State FY2022 Joint Legislative Budget Hearing on Health, which took place on February 25, 2021. The Alliance applauds the telehealth-related proposals included in the Governor’s Executive Budget for the State Fiscal Year 2022, and was particularly thrilled to see specific provisions around the creation of an interstate licensure program to authorize out-of-state practitioners licensed in contiguous states or states in the Northeast region to provide telehealth services to patients in New York. “While we support and appreciate efforts by the State to acknowledge the importance of interstate licensure capabilities and [...]

203, 2021

Alliance Letter of Support for Alaska SB 67

March 2nd, 2021|

The Alliance submitted a letter of support to David Wilson, Chair of the Alaska Senate Health and Social Services Committee, for Senate Bill 67. The bill would allow Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses from 34 states to practice in Alaska as part of a Multistate Nurse Licensure Compact. These registered and practical nurses would not be subject to the burdensome licensing process. The bill would also allow nurses in Alaska to practice in those 34 participating states. Opening up Alaska to licensed nurses will help provide needed access to care across the state. Read the full letter here and [...]

203, 2021

Alliance Statement for the Record to House Energy & Commerce Committee Hearing on Telehealth

March 2nd, 2021|

ALLIANCE FOR CONNECTED CARE STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD “The Future of Telehealth: How COVID-19 is Changing the Delivery of Virtual Care” The Alliance submitted a letter to the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health on the "“The Future of Telehealth: How COVID-19 is Changing the Delivery of Virtual Care.” The Alliance provided 1) overarching comments about telehealth research and evidence, 2) recommendations for telehealth expansions that Congress should consider and 3) recommendations for telehealth “guardrail” provisions that Congress could consider. Top Telehealth Priorities These priorities were also outlined in the July 2020 group letter to Congress with [...]

1602, 2021

Alliance Written Testimony in Maryland

February 16th, 2021|

The Alliance submitted written testimony offering the Medical Excellence Zone as an alternative to Maryland House Bill 732. "We request that the Committee consider an alternative called the Medical Excellence Zone. The Medical Excellence Zone is an area defined by multiple state borders where medical practitioners may practice across state lines. Practitioners may not establish physical practices in states where they are not licensed but as long as they are licensed and in good standing with one state in the Zone, they may practice across state lines." Key provisions and additional details on the MEZ can be viewed here. [...]

1502, 2021

Alliance Letter Regarding Telehealth Fraud

February 15th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care sent a letter to HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) Principal Deputy Inspector General Grimm urging OIG to update posts on "telehealth fraud" to better distinguish traditional fraud from telehealth fraud. The Alliance supports several recommendations to address improper telehealth payments: Conduct periodic post-payment reviews to disallow payments for errors for which telehealth claim edits cannot be implemented (for example, unallowable originating sites or unallowable means of communication Work with MACs to implement all telehealth claim edits listed in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual; Offer education and training sessions to practitioners on Medicare telehealth [...]

801, 2021

Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery Request for Information (RFI)

January 8th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care submitted comments in response to the HHS request for information on the health and economic emergency created by the COVID-19. The Alliance responded to over 20 recent policy changes with recommendations. We believe some should become permanent and some were only appropriate during the PHE and should cease at its end. Review our full comments here and below:  

801, 2021

Input for the CONNECT for Health Act of 2021

January 8th, 2021|

The Alliance for Connected Care provided feedback on the Senate Telehealth Working Group and Congressional Telehealth Caucus’ request for information (RFI) on the 117th Congress’ iteration of the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act. The Alliance provided 1) overarching comments about top priorities for telehealth legislation, 2) recommend new provisions for inclusion in the CONNECT package and 3) provide feedback on the continued relevancy of 2019 CONNECT provisions. Review the Alliance's comments here and below  

1512, 2020

Alliance Joins Letter to Hill in Support of Temporary Extension of DEA Waiver in COVID Relief Package

December 15th, 2020|

The $908 Billion Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020 – While its outcome remains very much in doubt, the $908 Billion bipartisan compromise proposal put forward in the Senate includes a provision to temporarily extend the DEA waiver of the in-person requirement through the end of 2021. We urge Congress to extend the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waiver of the prior in-person requirement before telemedicine is allowed for prescribing of controlled substances under the Ryan Haight Act through the end of 2021. The DEA has waived this requirement for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). [...]

1112, 2020

Digital Health Groups Call on Congress to Extend Telehealth Access

December 11th, 2020|

The Alliance for Connected Care, American Telemedicine Association, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Connected Health Initiative, eHealth Initiative, Health Innovation Alliance, HIMSS and the PCHAlliance called on Congressional leaders to act to preserve access to telehealth as part of an end of year package. "While we seek permanent reforms to enable Medicare beneficiaries to continue to access services via telehealth once the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends, we write today to express our support for provisions, proposed by a bipartisan group of Senators, that would extend temporary telehealth flexibilities until the end of 2021 in an end-of-year [...]

308, 2020

Endorsement Letter Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act

August 3rd, 2020|

Today, 225 organizations signed a letter to House Telehealth Caucus Representatives Thompson, Welch, Matsui, Schweikert, and Johnson endorsing the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act of 2020 (HR 7663). The legislation includes four major and vital provisions: Removing arbitrary geographic restrictions on where a patient must be located in order to utilize telehealth services; Enabling patients to continue to receive telehealth services in their homes; Ensuring federally qualified health centers and rural health centers can furnish telehealth services; and Establishing permanent waiver authority for the Secretary of Health & Human Services during future emergency periods and for 90 [...]

1407, 2020

Industry Support Letter on RPM Grant Bill

July 14th, 2020|

We are pleased to support the Increasing Rural Health Access During the COVID–19 Public Health Emergency Act of 2020 (H.R. 7190/S. 3951.) This important legislation would improve access to virtual care tools for Americans with chronic conditions living in rural America, on tribal lands, or in medically underserved areas. Download PDF

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