New bill introduced in the US to study telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic
US Representative Robin Kelly introduced a bill that requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to launch a study on the effects of telehealth changes on Medicare and Medicaid within a year after the COVID-19 public health emergency concludes. Congresswoman Kelly said the goal of the bill is to assess whether the relaxed regulations on telehealth for Medicare and Medicaid recipients should remain in place after the pandemic. In response to the outbreak, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded Medicare benefits to allow recipients to gain wider access to telehealth services. The agency has also relaxed regulations on practicing medicine across state lines. Kelly highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has discouraged people from seeking in-person medical care due to the fear of exposure to the Coronavirus and that telehealth has a potential to improve access to preventive healthcare.