Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 has bipartisan Senate and House support and would expand telehealth services through Medicare. The bill “aims to improve health outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their doctors, and help cut costs for patients and providers” according to a statement released yesterday by the bill’s sponsor Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i)
“Telehealth is the future of health care. The technology is advancing, more providers and patients are relying on it, and we have broad bipartisan support,” said Senator Schatz. “This bill will help ensure that every American gets the care they need no matter where they live.”
The CONNECT for Health Act of 2019 builds on the progress made in recent years to increase the use of telehealth through Medicare. Specifically, the legislation would:
- Provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to waive telehealth restrictions when necessary;
- Remove geographic and originating site restrictions for services like mental health and emergency medical care;
- Allow rural health clinics and other community-based health care centers to provide telehealth services; and
- Require a study to explore more ways to expand telehealth services so that more people can access health care services in their own homes.