ATA Applauds Governor Cuomo’s Efforts to Expand Access to Telehealth

WASHINGTON, DC, JANUARY 11, 2021 — The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) commends New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for his leadership in seeking to expand telehealth access to New York residents. Earlier today, in his 2021 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth.

“The ATA applauds Governor Cuomo for recognizing the unique role that telehealth can play in bringing healthcare into the 21st century and in expanding access to care, at a lower cost, to underserved communities,” said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO, the ATA. “In response to the public health emergency, telehealth shored up a troubled healthcare system, when our nation needed it most. It is now vital for states, such as New York, to act as soon as possible this year to ensure telehealth remains available to all, wherever and whenever it is needed. The ATA is hopeful that the New York state legislature will work with Governor Cuomo to pass this needed telehealth modernization legislation.”

According to a statement issued by Governor Cuomo’s office, this legislation includes “comprehensive telehealth reform to help New Yorkers take advantage of telehealth tools and address key issues such as adjusting reimbursement incentives to encourage telehealth, eliminating outdated regulatory prohibitions on the delivery of telehealth, removing outdated location requirements, addressing technical unease among both patients and providers through training programs, and establishing other programs to incentivize innovative uses of telehealth.”

“We remain available to act as a resource, to New York policymakers and to policymakers in state capitals across the country, as 2021 gets underway,” added Mond Johnson.

On New Year’s Day, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a healthcare bill that requires insurance companies to cover behavioral telehealth visits the same way they cover in-person care, mandates rate parity for two years for primary and chronic disease care and provides a short-term model for how those services will be paid. In addition, this new law allows providers to use all available and appropriate telehealth technologies to deliver care and communicate with both new and existing patients.

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 health care 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. @americantelemed #telehealthishealth #ATApolicy