Lawmakers push to extend flexible telehealth guidelines beyond the stay-at-home period

Lawmakers push to extend flexible telehealth guidelines beyond the stay-at-home period

A bi-partisan coalition of 32 US House members are asking in a May 21 letter to Congressional leadership that ongoing emergency efforts to relax telehealth regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic be continued for an additional period of time. They are asking for time to collect data and determine which of these flexibilities should remain in place permanently.

“Telehealth is proving to be an extremely successful approach in ensuring that patients are receiving mental health and addiction care during this trying and unprecedented time, and we applaud the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for expanding behavioral telehealth flexibilities, and ultimately increasing access to these essential services,” the letter states. “In particular, we are grateful that CMS is providing broader coverage of behavioral telehealth services, which has helped expand access to many individuals in rural and medically underserved areas, and allowed individuals to receive these services in their home.”

The order would be included in the next COVID-19 relief bill, the lawmakers said.

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