The AAMC joined 336 organizations in a Jan. 31 letter to congressional leadership urging them to take action on telehealth flexibilities before the end of the public health emergency (PHE).
The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urged Congress to chart “a path forward with respect to permanent comprehensive telehealth reform.” It noted that telehealth has allowed providers across the country to treat patients safely throughout the PHE but that providers are reliant on the continued 90-day renewals and must weigh the costs of maintaining telehealth technology against the possibility that the PHE will end without a permanent path forward for telehealth access.
Specifically, the letter urged Congress to:
- Authorize the continuation of all current telehealth waivers through Dec. 31, 2024.
- Require the Department of Health and Human Services to complete an evaluation of telehealth by fall 2023 and produce a dashboard with recommendations to inform a permanent legislative solution for telehealth.
- Take up permanent telehealth legislation in 2024.
“We believe the recommendations outlined above will provide significant relief to patients and providers concerned about Congress’ intent and commitment to telehealth after the end of the COVID-19 PHE,” it concluded.