American Telemedicine Association, HIMSS ask Congress to extend telehealth flexibilities through 2021 

The American Telemedicine Association and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society are among a group of telehealth organizations urging Congress to extend the temporary virtual care flexibilities passed for the COVID-19 public health emergency until the end of 2021. 

In a Dec. 11 letter to Congressional leaders, the organizations ask for the following policies to be extended until the end of next year in order to provide patients care when and where they need it: removing geographic licensing restrictions; allowing the location of the patient to be an originating site for care; giving HHS the authority to determine appropriate telehealth services and providers; and allowing Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health clinics and critical access hospitals to furnish telehealth and be fairly reimbursed. 

The letter asks Congress to include the telehealth extensions as part of the end-of-year package to fund the federal government in the absence of permanent telehealth reform. 

The organizations that signed the letter: 

  • Alliance for Connected Care 
  • American Telemedicine Association 
  • College of Healthcare Information Management Executives 
  • Connected Health Initiative 
  • eHealth Initiative 
  • Health Innovation Alliance 
  • HIMSS 
  • PCHAlliance

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