Advocacy Alert: Urge Your Senators to Extend Telehealth Flexibility Through 2024
September 29, 2022
Unless Congress acts, telehealth flexibilities that have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic will end 151 days after the Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires. Tell your Senators to follow the House of Representatives and pass long-term telehealth flexibilities that will extend the coverage of vital telehealth services under Medicare until at least December 31, 2024.
In our current state, patients and health care providers must rely on the HHS (Health & Human Services) Secretary to extend the federal PHE 90 days at a time to ensure access to critical telehealth services isn’t lost. For over two years, Medicare beneficiaries and their providers have relied on telehealth as a safe, effective, and essential part of care delivery. They deserve certainty that these vital services will still be here after the PHE expires.
In July, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4040, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 with a vote of 416-12. The legislation would extend many critical telehealth flexibilities that were enacted in response to COVID-19 through at least 2024. Specifically, the bill would:
- Allow federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics to continue providing telehealth services
- Allow beneficiaries to receive telehealth services at any site, including the patient's home, regardless of geographic location
- Expand the types of providers allowed to provide telehealth services, including OTs, PTs, and SLPs
- Continue coverage for audio-only telehealth services
- Delay implementation of in-person requirements for mental health telehealth services
These vital telehealth flexibilities have helped millions of individuals across the U.S. access care with ease and have helped ease the provider and specialist shortage in rural and underserved areas.
Take Action! Urge your Senators to support this critical piece of legislation and pass the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act of 2022 so the President can sign the bill into law! A reminder, too, that if you want to contact them via phone or snail mail, BHAP has a tool for looking up who your elected representatives are across the United States. Free to use regardless of membership, check out our Find Your Rep Tool.
As always, we want your input. What topics would you like to see us cover in future Advocacy Alerts? If you are a representative of a state association and have something for us to consider for an Advocacy Alert, let us know!
Did you know BHAP members get regular access to our advocate in Washington, DC? If you have any questions about BHAP's advocacy efforts, please contact us.
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