ICYMI: As Funding Deadline Nears, TAFA Calls for Urgent Congressional Action to Protect Telehealth
Op-ed by Telehealth Access for America in Inside Telehealth Makes Need For & Benefits of Telehealth Clear
Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it, in a recent opinion piece for Inside Telehealth, Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) underscores the urgent need for congressional action to protect patient access to virtual care.
“The pandemic and individuals’ short- and long-term need for ongoing access to the telehealth services they rely on is a constant reminder of the necessity for congressional action to protect virtual care,” TAFA members note. “The pandemic has not only accelerated telehealth expansion, but shown its effectiveness and importance.”
TAFA members go on to highlight the benefits of telehealth, including that “[t]hrough high-quality telehealth care, patients can achieve quality health outcomes. This includes the one in seven individuals who utilized telehealth who would have otherwise sought emergency or urgent care if virtual care was unavailable. Telehealth can also boost quality of life by making health care more easily accessible for seniors, those with chronic illnesses and rural communities,” and that “[i]mportantly, recent studies have shown telehealth mental services help generate positive short- and long-term health outcomes.”
Members conclude with a call to action to Congress: “Patients and providers have faced tremendous uncertainty during the pandemic. What they need now is the assurance that telehealth will remain available when they need it. Congress must act to make expanded telehealth access permanent, first by extending temporary waivers, then compiling and analyzing telehealth data, and finally enacting evidence-based legislation that provides permanent telehealth access. These steps will provide peace of mind for patients and providers, and safeguard the progress that has been made over recent years to ensure access to high-quality virtual care. We urge swift, meaningful action to protect patients’ access to telehealth services. Millions of patients have come to rely on telehealth – it is up to us to make sure they are not left behind.”
Read the full op-ed in Inside Telehealth HERE.
ABOUT TELEHEALTH ACCESS FOR AMERICA
Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services. Learn more and take action today at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.