ICYMI: “Telehealth Is A Service Needed, Not Wanted, In Saving Lives”

Aug 10, 2023

Patients and Providers from Around the Nation Call for Permanent Solutions to Protect Access to Telehealth

In case you missed it, patients and health care providers from around the nation continue to call on Congress to advance permanent solutions to protect access to telehealth — before virtual care flexibilities are currently set to expire at the end of next year.

Read what they are saying here:

In Montana, psychologist Caitlin Martin-Wagar, PhD, wrote an op-ed for the The Missoulian, “Montanans Need Permanent Telehealth Access.”

“With nearly half of all Montana residents living in areas defined as ‘rural,’ access to health care is often sparse, especially for specialty care…telehealth that became increasingly available during the pandemic, has been a lifeline for Montana residents, including many of my patients who are seeking life-saving eating disorder treatment,” Martin-Wagar writes. “Senators Tester and Daines have demonstrated their bipartisan belief in the promise and value of telehealth to help ensure individuals in remote areas have equal access to safe, quality care. Now, Montanans, and millions of Americans across the country are relying on them to build on their commitment by passing permanent telehealth protections,” she concludes.

In Michigan, Megan Mikhail, an eating disorder specialist who provides teletherapy care and is a patient herself, penned a letter to the Detroit Free Press, “Telehealth Should Be Here To Stay.” 

“I have seen how telehealth has improved access to specialized care, especially for the younger population. In particular, telehealth has allowed me to work with patients in rural parts of Michigan where access to specialists can be more challenging than in more densely populated suburban or urban areas. Without telehealth, one of my patients would have had to travel more than five hours each way, making care impossible,” said Mikhail. “U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters must act to pass permanent telehealth protections,” she ends as a call for action. 

In South Dakota, mental health therapist Faith Carlson authored a letter for the Argus Leader, “Telehealth Access Should Be Permanently Protected.”

In her piece, Carlson says, “Telehealth is a service needed, not wanted, in saving lives and providing interventions in the treatment of mental health and eating disorders. Without access to telehealth, more than 50 percent of my clients would be left without support. Senators Rounds and Thune showed support for telehealth by co-sponsoring the CONNECT for Health Act. I encourage them to finish the job and ensure permanent protection for telehealth access is passed in Washington.”

In Pennsylvania, Christine Cicio, a patient living with spondyloarthropathy and psoriatic arthritis, wrote an op-ed for the The Delaware County Times, “Patients Face Uncertainty As Clock Ticks On Access To Telehealth.”

Cicio writes, “For people with chronic conditions like me, the end of the public health emergency is taking a toll on our peace of mind and, potentially, our access to critical health care…Patients like me deserve the peace of mind that we will have access to the low-cost, convenient and equitable care we deserve…Patients are counting on our elected leaders to ensure we can continue to access the telehealth services that are making a profound difference in our lives.”

Read their pieces in the Missoulian HERE, Detroit Free Press HERE, Argus Leader HERE, and Delaware County Times HERE.

Learn more about how Congress can act to permanently protect telehealth access HERE.


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.