News and Insights
Telehealth Needs Legislation that Enables Fundamental Change
With telehealth’s fate currently hinging on the continuation of the public health emergency, policymakers have put bills before Congress to permanently cement the technology into mainstream care delivery.
One bipartisan bill by Senators Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Smith (D-MN), Thune (R-SD), and Cardin (D-MD) is the Telemental Health Care Access Act of 2021, which calls for the elimination of a requirement for Medicare beneficiaries to be seen in-person before being able to utilize telehealth for mental health care. Another bipartisan bill by Senators Schatz (D-HI), Wicker (R-MS), Cardin (D-MD), Thune (R-SD), Warner (D-VA), and Hyde-Smith (R-MS) is the CONNECT for Health Act of 2021. This bill calls for the permanent removal of all geographic restrictions on telehealth – restrictions that prevent providers from providing telehealth services to patients that live in another state – an expansion of the list of places, aka “originating sites,” from which people can use telehealth – patients previously had to leave their home and travel to a physician’s office, health clinic or hospital to use the service.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com.