What They Are Saying: Consumer Groups, Telehealth Advocates and Lawmakers Applaud Extension of Critical Telehealth Flexibilities
Broad-Based and Bipartisan Support Underscores Opportunity to Advance Solutions to Permanently Protect Access to Telehealth in the 118th Congress
In case you missed it, consumer groups, telehealth advocates and lawmakers applauded the recent two-year extension of critical telehealth flexibilities passed by Congress, and signed into law by President Biden, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.
The broad-based support for the extension of these critical flexibilities, combined with the overwhelmingly bipartisan support virtual care has generated in the past, underscores the unprecedented opportunity for policymakers to build on the positive momentum for action in the new Congress by enacting permanent solutions to protect telehealth access.
Read what consumer groups, telehealth advocates and lawmakers had to say on the two-year extension of critical telehealth flexibilities and the importance of permanent solutions to protect access to virtual care:
U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR): “I’m pleased that the bill includes a two-year extension of telehealth flexibilities that are popular with Americans and health care providers alike.”
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI): “The last few years have proven that telehealth works. It has made it easier and safer for people to see their doctors and stay healthy, while this extension is helpful, these changes should be made permanent. It’s time to pass the CONNECT for Health Act.”
AARP: “Older Americans, like Americans of all ages, want elected officials to work together to ensure their health and financial security. AARP is pleased that the bipartisan government funding bill addresses important priorities for Americans age 50-plus…The package extends several pandemic era provisions for people on Medicare, including greater flexibility to use telehealth services…These provisions will help many older adults access the medical care they need.”
Alliance for Connected Care: “The inclusion of a two-year extension of Medicare telehealth and commercial market telehealth flexibilities will make a huge difference to so many Americans. The Alliance for Connected Care has been calling for predictability for patients and clinicians while continuing to work toward permanent telehealth authorization. This gives us both…Overall, a big win for America’s patients and caregivers. Bravo Congress.”
The American Counseling Association: “The American Counseling Association applauds Congress for addressing bipartisan, bicameral policies that preserve important tools that allow providers to better serve patients, including extending telehealth flexibilities, and allowing greater access to mental health services to those in the Medicare population.”
American Telemedicine Association: “We can think of no greater vote of confidence for telehealth, nor greater reassurance to our beleaguered healthcare providers and the American people, than to have the unwavering bicameral, bipartisan support of Congress and the administration, confirming continued assess to virtual care services through 2024.”
Society for Human Resource Management: “Pre-deductible coverage helps employees because it allows insurance providers to cover telehealth services without requiring a co-pay or deductible upfront… Employers need the flexibility to design benefit plans that improve employees’ well-being and help retain top talent. I am grateful to our members for engaging with lawmakers from across the nation to secure this extension.”
Telehealth Access for America: “We thank members of Congress, in both parties, and the Biden administration for their commitment to protecting access to virtual care for the millions of patients who have come to rely on these vital services to manage their health. We encourage lawmakers and the administration to build on the unprecedented, bipartisan momentum for telehealth in the new year with reforms to permanently safeguard access to virtual care.”
Learn more about Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) and permanent solutions to protect access to 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.