Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act: HIMSS and PCHA Support Bipartisan Bill

Two people inside a home. A child sits on the lap of a woman using a wheelchair.

Today, Reps. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Bill Johnson (OH-06), David Schweikert (AZ-06), and Doris Matsui (CA-06) of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus introduced the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act.

This bipartisan bill will continue the expanded use of critical telehealth services beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating restrictions on the use in Medicare, providing a bridge for patients currently using the practices because of the crisis and making permanent the disaster waiver authority to expand telehealth in Medicare during future emergencies and disasters.

“Telehealth is a proven and cost-effective way to get care out to patients, particularly during a crisis,” said Thompson. “Since the spring, many patients who need routine care have been using telehealth to see their doctors without increasing the risk of spreading coronavirus, and many face an abrupt end to this practice after the crisis is over. That’s why today I joined my colleagues to introduce the Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act. My bill will expand the use of this proven practice for seniors and those on Medicare and ensure that telehealth care be used during future disasters and emergencies. We know telehealth can be an essential bridge in delivering care, particularly during a crisis, and today we are working to ensure telehealth continues in a post-coronavirus world.”

“HIMSS and PCHAlliance applaud the introduction of the telehealth bill sponsored by Representative Thompson and members of the House Telehealth Caucus, and call upon Congress to take swift action and make permanent the flexibilities that have supported the use of evidence-based connected care technologies to improve healthcare quality, access and value for all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hal Wolf, President and CEO of HIMSS.

This legislation addresses many of the priorities HIMSS and more than 300 leading healthcare organizations identified for Congressional leaders for making permanent telehealth flexibilities created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the bipartisan bill to expand use of telehealth beyond health crisis.

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The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.

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