House passes bill extending Medicare telehealth flexibilities

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill expanding telehealth services and allowing Medicare patients to continue using telehealth services through 2024, The Hill reported July 27. 

The Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act passed with a 416-12 vote. Along with extending Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services, the bill is looking to eliminate geographical requirements to access telehealth services and increase the number of telehealth providers.

The Medicare reimbursement measure will "allow those who've been afraid to go to the doctor, who haven't been able to get in, to be able to consult with medical professionals as they need it," bill co-sponsor Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said during debate on the House floor.

Some representatives said they felt the bill fell short of what is needed to make telehealth accessible.

"While I am in support of this legislation, it does not go far enough. We do need to provide a permanent solution for Medicare providers and, most importantly, their patients. It is important that providers are given long-term certainty when taking care of their Medicare patients and are technologically capable of delivering the best care possible,"  Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, R-Texas, said.

Read the full text of the bill here.

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