NTU Urges House to Extend Telehealth Regulatory Flexibility in Medicare

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NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 4040, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act. This bill would expand access to telehealth services to all Americans and goes a long way toward deregulating the telehealth industry. Though telehealth deregulation is not a cure-all policy solution to rising health care costs, it represents a strong step in the right direction – reducing red tape for doctors and patients, rather than increasing the regulatory burdens both parties face.

As the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted, telehealth visits are an effective way for Americans to receive important medical services, without some of the costs and health risks associated with in-person appointments. H.R. 4040 would extend through 2024 many of the COVID-19-related telehealth deregulatory policies, which have expanded access and increased the quality of telehealth appointments.

For example, H.R. 4040 would extend the suspension of geographic and originating site limitations on Medicare coverage of telehealth services through 2024. With around 95 million Americans living in health professional shortage areas, suspending origin sites and geographical barriers around telehealth brings vital health services to the 95 million Americans who may not have speedy in-person access. This is especially important for rural Americans, who are often forced to make long and costly commutes for health services but would now be able receive them at home and without significant travel costs.

By increasing access to telehealth services through 2024, this bill would directly increase savings for both health consumers and providers. With some telehealth visits being around just one third the cost of in-person visits, consumers can save money and still receive crucial health services. In addition, increased access to telehealth will lower costs for providers, saving them time and resources associated with in-person visits.

The “Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act” is a practical solution to health care challenges. It will increase access to vital health services to millions of Americans, as well as decrease costs associated with health visits. We encourage all Representatives to vote “Yes” on this bill.

Roll call votes on H.R. 4040 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Director of Federal Policy Andrew Lautz at alautz@ntu.org.