Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Va., joined Senators Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., in calling for the permanent expansion of access to telehealth services, according to a news release from Senate.
Provisions from the CONNECT for Health Act, legislation cosponsored by Warner and Kaine, have allowed Medicare beneficiaries in all areas of the country to utilize telehealth services from home and more types of health care providers to provide telehealth were included in previous COVID-19 legislation. The senators say these telehealth services could possibly expire when the pandemic ends.
“Americans have benefited significantly from this expansion of telehealth and have come to rely on its availability,” Warner and Kaine wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Congress should expand access to telehealth services on a permanent basis so that telehealth remains an option for all Medicare beneficiaries both now and after the pandemic. Doing so would assure patients that their care will not be interrupted when the pandemic ends. It would also provide certainty to health care providers that the costs to prepare for and use telehealth would be a sound long-term investment.”