336 Stakeholders Seek Leadership from Congress to Create Permanent Comprehensive Telehealth Reform
336 organizations sent a letter to Congress urging their leadership in facilitating a pathway to comprehensive permanent telehealth reform that would provide certainty to patients and our nation’s healthcare providers while providing sufficient time for Congress and the administration to analyze the impact of telehealth on patient care. The letter was co-led by the Alliance for Connected Care, American Telemedicine Association (ATA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Consumer Technology Association (CTA), Executives for Health Innovation (EHI), Health Innovation Alliance, HIMSS, Partnership to Advance Virtual Care, and the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance).
While the Biden Administration may elect to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the fact that the PHE determination must be renewed every 90 days and could end later this year is creating significant uncertainty for the U.S. healthcare system. The letter calls for Congress to advance permanent telehealth reform focused on the following specific priorities:
• Authorize the continuation of all current telehealth waivers through December 31, 2024;
• Require HHS to complete all feasible evaluations related to telehealth by fall 2023 and combine findings into a single overarching dashboard with recommendations to inform permanent telehealth legislation by Congress; and
• Pass permanent, evidence-based telehealth legislation for implementation in 2024.
Virtual care is now a fundamental part of the U.S. healthcare system, and it will improve patient access to high-quality care well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Patient satisfaction surveys and claims data from CMS and private health plans demonstrate that many Americans have come to see telehealth as one of the most positive improvements to our nation’s healthcare system in recent memory. Importantly, a majority of U.S. voters believe Congress should protect their ability and choice to see a provider via telehealth post-pandemic.
Download the letter here.