Reflecting on a Year of Proven Value and Bipartisan Support for Telehealth: Part III

Dec 28, 2023

A Look Back at Key Themes in Virtual Care and Growing Momentum for Action Ahead of Countdown to Potential Telehealth Cliff in 2024

Without action from Congress, critical flexibilities that support access to telehealth for millions of patients are set to expire on December 31, 2024.

As we wind down the final days of 2023 and approach the one-year mark until a potential telehealth cliff, we can reflect on a year filled with new, and overwhelming evidence of telehealth’s critical value for patients and the future of the U.S. health care system — and growing bipartisan support for safeguarding access to critical care.

On Tuesday, we started our recap of key topics on the value of telehealth, revisiting the importance of permanent policy, the positive impact on cardiac care, and the role of virtual care in improving health outcomes for veterans. Check out Part I HERE.

Then on Wednesday, we reviewed telehealth’s positive environmental impact, critical value for mental and behavioral health care, and role in improving preventative care in Part II HERE.

Today, we look back at how virtual care is improving mental health care in historically underserved communities and enabling better health outcomes and a better quality of life for cancer patients in Part III:


“Recent studies have shown that low-income minority patients are more likely to use telehealth. One study from the University of Pennsylvania found that from 2019 through 2021 telehealth access helped to increase Black patients’ primary care visit completion rates rise from 52 percent to 70 percent. This drastic increase in care access would reflect a great increase in mental health care among minority communities and emphasizes the need for permanent telehealth protections. Telehealth allows members of minority communities to obtain greater access to behavioral health by removing the need for transportation and allowing patients to choose providers that align with their specific needs, availability, and budget… Congress must turn words into action and protect access to virtual care, a tool that is used most heavily among minority communities, the very same communities that are least likely to receive mental health care. Telehealth is a tool that can help bridge the gap in minority mental health treatment, and Congress must create permanent protections now. Read our full blog from July HERE. 


“Cancer treatment has been said to be among the best suited for telehealth programs, among other diagnoses that require reoccurring appointments such as diabetes and mental health treatment. There are many reasons for the high praise that telehealth has received among cancer patients; studies have shown that oncology patients who utilized telehealth for their care reported a better experience on the grounds of increased access and quality of care when compared to traditional in-person care … Telehealth reduces costs by limiting travel expenses and creating better access to necessary specialists from the comfort of a patient’s home… As the Biden Administration advances toward its goal of ending cancer as we know it, we urge Congress to take the necessary steps to get cancer patients access to the care they deserve.” Read our full blog from August HERE


“Rapidly adopted during the pandemic, telehealth has become an indispensable mode of care for older patients. A majority of patients 65 and older are satisfied with virtual care and would like continued access…There are many benefits to using telehealth programs for senior care, including the opportunity to give seniors the option to age in place, a choice that has proven health benefits, by bringing care to their homes. … With many seniors also living on a fixed budget, telehealth can be an option for lower-cost access to care. One analysis found telehealth expands access to health care without increased costs to taxpayers, with average patients utilizing telehealth seeing a 61 percent decrease in healthcare expenses from January 2020 to February 2021.” Read our full blog from September HERE

View a live countdown on our website HERE to see how many days until protections expire and 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