Trump directs federal agencies to make telehealth reforms 'totally permanent'

President Donald Trump said telemedicine is a top priority for his administration and is working to make the temporary regulatory changes permanent during a July 16 news briefing.

After the pandemic hit, the administration removed barriers that allowed physicians to work across state lines to provide telemedicine. It also made changes to temporarily boost reimbursement for telemedicine and make it more accessible for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

"I have ordered federal agencies to look for ways to make these healthcare reforms totally permanent," he said.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma penned a Health Affairs article on July 15 outlining the areas CMS is examining to permanently expand telehealth. They include Medicare pay rates for telehealth, fraud abuse prevention and mode of delivery.

A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a bill in the U.S. House on July 16 that moves to protect telehealth services after the public health emergency is lifted and requires studying the use of telehealth during the pandemic.

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