ATA AND ATA ACTION APPLAUD NEW TELEHEALTH LEGISLATION TO EXTEND PHE FLEXIBILITIES THROUGH 2024, URGE CONGRESS TO ADD CRITICAL PROVISIONS
WASHINGTON, DC, JULY 25, 2022 – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and ATA Action today expressed strong support for a new, bipartisan bill sponsored by U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) and U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), that will remove geographic requirements and expand originating sites for telehealth services through the end of 2024, following the public health emergency-era flexibilities. The ATA and ATA Action are also urging Congress to include two other, critical provisions that will expire if action is not taken soon.
As leaders in the U.S. House bring a bipartisan telehealth bill to the floor for consideration this week, the ATA and ATA Action issued the following statement:
“While the draft bill meets so many of our shared objectives, the ATA and ATA Action are asking members of the U.S. House to include other vital priorities, such as an extension of the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA) telehealth tax provision, and the Ryan Haight Act in-person waiver for the remote prescription of controlled substances, for the same two year extension as the other provisions,” said Kyle Zebley, vice president, public policy, the ATA, and executive director, ATA Action. “The ATA and ATA Action urge Congress to pass this bill with our suggested amendments.
“Congress has the opportunity to make a great piece of legislation greater. Now is our chance to address health disparities and not leave anyone out from accessing needed telehealth services, particularly those in underserved communities. We thank Congresswoman Cheney and Congresswoman Dingell for putting forward this important bill.”
The bill as currently drafted extends the following telehealth flexibilities in the Medicare program:
- Geographic and originating sites flexibilities
- Expanded eligible practitioners
- FQHC (Federal Qualified Health Centers) and RHC (Rural Health Centers) telehealth coverage and reimbursement
- Delay of the in-person telemental health requirement
- Furnishment of audio-only telehealth
- Use of telehealth to satisfy Medicare face-to-face telehealth requirements for hospice care
About ATA Action
ATA Action recognizes that telehealth and virtual care have the potential to transform the healthcare delivery system by improving patient outcomes, enhancing the safety and effectiveness of care, addressing health disparities, and reducing costs. ATA Action is a registered 501c6 company and an affiliated trade organization of the ATA.
About the ATA
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. The ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of leading healthcare delivery systems, academic institutions, technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.