ATA Congratulates President Joseph R. Biden Upon His Inauguration As Our Nation’s 46th Commander-In-Chief
The ATA looks forward to working together to secure access to telehealth and address health disparities among our most vulnerable and underserved populations
WASHINGTON, DC, JANUARY 20, 2021 – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) congratulates President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris following today’s historic inauguration.
“In a rare sign of bipartisanship, both former President Trump and President Biden supported telehealth during the presidential campaign, underscoring the broad support the industry receives amongst the American people,” said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO, the ATA. “Former President Trump and President Biden also emphasized the need to invest in broadband infrastructure to close the digital divide – an essential step needed if we are going to ensure all Americans have access to telehealth whenever and wherever they need it. The ATA is looking forward to President Biden’s leadership to build upon and make permanent the momentum put in place by the previous administration and ensure that telehealth remains available to millions of Americans who now rely on it for their care.”
The ATA put forward a list of proposals in a letter to the Biden transition team at the end of last year, recommending legislation that would expand the use of telehealth in Medicare beyond the current national crisis and, consequently, reduce structural inequities in our healthcare system. Specifically, the ATA urges the Biden Administration and the 117th Congress to support the following policies:
- Remove provisions in law that mandate, for telehealth delivery of care or reimbursement, a prior in-person relationship between practitioner and patient. Allow state licensing boards and practitioners to determine the appropriate standards of care for patients. This includes removing the in-person requirement for telemental health services in the recently signed Consolidated Appropriations Act.
- Permanently remove the geographic and originating site barriers in statute. The originating site should be wherever the patient is located, including but not limited to a patient’s home.
- Enhance HHS authority to determine appropriate telehealth services and providers.
- Ensure Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) can furnish telehealth and receive equitable reimbursement.
- Make permanent HHS’s temporary waiver authority for future emergencies.
- Support existing fraud, waste, and abuse resources within HHS, including the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program.
“President Biden seeks to expand access to quality healthcare for Americans, particularly the millions of individuals who are underserved by our current healthcare system. In addition, President Biden seeks to find common ground with Republicans. We believe there is no better way to work towards these goals than by pursuing the policies we propose in support of telehealth,” added Mond Johnson. “The ATA remains available as a resource to the new administration, and members of Congress, as they grapple with these important issues moving forward.”
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
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