430 healthcare organizations to lawmakers: Address the 'telehealth cliff' 

The American Telemedicine Association and Alliance for Connected Care are among a group of 430 organizations urging Congress to expand virtual care coverage before the COVID-19 public health emergency ends. 

The organizations sent a letter July 26 to lawmakers asking to approve permanent telehealth provisions for Medicare beneficiaries, including removing geographical barriers for telehealth usage and ensuring that federally qualified health centers, critical access hospitals and rural health centers can furnish telehealth services. 

The letter also requests Congress to authorize HHS to allow additional telehealth practitioners, services and modalities and remove restrictions on telemental health services. 

While telehealth was able to greatly expand because of the pandemic, "there is now much uncertainty around the future of telehealth, creating chaos and concern for patients and healthcare providers alike, as the 'telehealth cliff' threatens to abruptly cut off access to care," ATA Vice President of Public Policy Kyle Zebley said in a news release. "With 430 stakeholders in lockstep, and unprecedented bipartisan support for these legislative priorities, we urge Congress to act swiftly to ensure that telehealth remains permanently available following expiration of the public health emergency."

Here are the organizations that co-led the letter: 

  • Alliance for Connected Care 
  • American Telemedicine Association 
  • Consumer Technology Association 
  • eHealth Initiative 
  • HIMSS 
  • Health Innovation Alliance 
  • Partnership to Advance Virtual Care 
  • PCHAlliance

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