US Representatives introduce bill to ensure telehealth access

The US Congressional Telehealth Caucus co-chairs and members, Rep. David Scheweikert, Rep. Mike Thompson, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Bill Johnson, and Rep. Doris Matsui introduced a bipartisan bill to allow the expanded use of telehealth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) relaxed the existing regulations on telehealth temporarily in light of the pandemic to enable people to receive healthcare services they need without visiting a clinic in person. The Protecting Access to Post-Covid-19 Telehealth Act will eliminate most geographic and originating site restrictions on telehealth use for Medicare beneficiaries; prevent interruptions or terminations of telehealth services in Medicare; and require a study on the telehealth use during the Coronavirus pandemic. Johnson said the question of the effectiveness of telehealth that was prevalent before the pandemic has been answered clearly, and it is time to expand high-quality telehealth services to all US citizens, instead of rolling back the progress that has been made.