July 22, 2020
This week, the ranking members of two U.S. Congressional health committees released separate proposals that would make permanent certain telehealth flexibilities used during the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a discussion draft that would permanently remove restrictions on the location of the patient, expand the types of practitioners eligible to provide services through telehealth, permit rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to serve as distant sites, allow Medicare beneficiaries to access care from their homes, and allow use of audio-only technology for established patients.
Legislation put forward by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) would expand access to mental health services as well as certain evaluation and management services.
IHA continues to urge policymakers to make statutory and regulatory changes necessary to permanently expand certain telehealth flexibilities used during the pandemic. IHA priorities for the next COVID-19 legislative package include ensuring payment parity for services whether provided through telehealth or in-person.