60+ senators want to make telehealth allowances permanent

Twenty-six Republican, 27 Democrat and three independent senators said June 16 they want to update a bill introduced in 2016 to make telehealth flexibilities allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic permanent. 

The proposed legislation also looks to broaden Medicare coverage of telehealth services.

The bill, called the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies for Health Act, might see these revisions: 

  • Permanently remove all geographic restrictions on telehealth services

  • Expand originating sites to include the home and other sites

  • Permanently allow health centers and rural health clinics to provide telehealth services

  • Allow more eligible healthcare professionals to utilize telehealth services

  • Remove in-person visit requirement for telemental health services

  • Waive telehealth restrictions during public health emergencies

  • Require more published data to learn more about how telehealth is being used, impacts of quality of care, and can be improved to support patients and healthcare providers

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