Telehealth expansion pushed aside by other congressional priorities: 5 things to know

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Congress has set aside legislation to make telehealth permanent to focus on President Joe Biden's higher priorities, Bloomberg Law reported Oct. 15.

Five things to know:

  1. While negotiating the infrastructure bill to expand Medicaid and Medicare, lawmakers haven't found the opportunity to bring telehealth to the table, according to the report.

  2. For most states, when the public health emergency ends, so will telehealth flexibilities.

  3. Lawmakers lack the motivation to make temporary telehealth waivers permanent because the public health emergency is likely to last into next year, Kyle Zebley, vice president of public policy for the American Telemedicine Association, told Bloomberg Law.

  4. "People are sort of underestimating the shock that will occur across communities" if telehealth isn't made permanent, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii.) said at a Senate hearing, Bloomberg Law reported.

  5. "I don’t think that Congress is going to act" until there is a definitive end date to the public health emergency that will disrupt telehealth, Mr. Zebley said.

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