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Public Policy Newsletter Article

House Health Subcommittee Explores Continued Telehealth Care Post-Pandemic

  • 2021-03-25T15:00:00.000+0000
  • Author: Izzie Omer

The House Energy & Commerce subcommittee on health recently held a hearing to examine the increase in use of telehealth and its potential impact on care moving forward. During the pandemic, telehealth utilization skyrocketed in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as in private insurance plans. While many private insurance plans and Medicaid previously allowed for telehealth services, Medicare had many statutory restrictions, such as rural and originating site requirements. During the pandemic, these were temporarily lifted. Witnesses and Members of Congress discussed the benefits and pitfalls in continuing telehealth services and noted concerns, including overutilization of care, conditions that necessitate in-person visits, lack of equity in care, and inability to access telehealth services for certain populations, such as broadband.

The House subcommittee is considering the CONNECT for Health Act, which Biocom California supports, aimed to remove the most onerous roadblocks in telehealth to ensure its extension beyond this public health emergency. Biocom continues to advocate to make permanent the temporary expanded access to telehealth services, so that Medicare beneficiaries can continue to access telehealth services at home and outside of designated rural areas when the pandemic is over.