3 health system leaders testify before Congress on telehealth extension

Health system leaders testified in support of extending telehealth flexibilities set to expire Dec. 31 at a recent Congressional hearing.

The witnesses who gave testimony April 10 included Lee Schwamm, MD, chief digital health officer of Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health System; Eve Cunningham, MD, chief of virtual care and digital health for Renton, Wash.-based Providence; and Ateev Mehrotra, MD, a Harvard Medical School professor and hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Telehealth has become a "core function of healthcare delivery," Dr. Cunningham testified before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, according to an April 11 American Telemedicine Association news release. Dr. Mehrotra encouraged Congress to permanently remove site-location requirements for telehealth, do away with in-person mandates before virtual mental health visits, and allow providers to practice virtually across state lines.

The subcommittee is addressing 15 bills on telehealth flexibilities, many of them having gone into effect on a temporary basis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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