Congress introduces bill to makes CARES Act telehealth coverage permanent

he House of Representatives recently introduced the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act, a bill calling for the permanence of telehealth regulations introduced in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Before the pandemic, Medicare beneficiaries could only utilize telehealth services if there was a physician shortage, and this could only be done at a designated "originating site." If passed, the bill will allow the HHS to waive these requirements beyond the emergency period specified in the CARES Act.

The proposed legislation would also lift restrictions that make it harder for healthcare providers to offer patients access to connected devices and instate permanent telehealth coverage at federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics.

The bill has garnered support from prominent figures in healthcare, such as the American Medical Association, Apple, Bose, Boston Children's Hospital, Intel, Kaia Health, Microsoft, UnitedHealth and Washington, D.C.-based George Washington University Hospital.

More articles on telehealth: 
FCC grants $29.41M more in telehealth funding to 77 providers
How rural hospitals can navigate telehealth expansions, limit health disparities
Telemedicine visits on steady decline, report finds: 5 details

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