The AAMC responded to a request for information (RFI) from the Healthy Future Task Force Subcommittee on Modernization on March 6. The response detailed the AAMC’s commitment to utilizing cutting-edge technology to deliver patient care, as well as the importance of ensuring continued patient access to telehealth. The Healthy Future Task Force is one of seven Republican task forces created by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to identify issues facing the United States and develop policy solutions.
The letter to Subcommittee on Modernization Chairs Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and Morgan Griffith (D-Va.) highlighted the key role that telehealth has played as AAMC-member teaching hospitals, faculty physicians, and other providers have continued to care for patients and respond to the pandemic. “Telehealth provides both patients and providers with a variety of benefits and both maintains and expands access to care, especially to those in rural, urban, and other underserved areas,” the letter noted.
The letter urged the subcommittee to extend key telehealth waivers and other flexibilities originating from the pandemic. Specifically, the letter asks the subcommittee to:
- Remove patient location restrictions and rural site requirements.
- Ensure providers are paid the same amount for telehealth services as services delivered in person.
- Allow Medicare payment for audio-only services.
- Let patients access telehealth services delivered across state lines.
- Allow for virtual supervision of resident physicians.
- Grant “authorized practitioners” to prescribe buprenorphine via telehealth.
- Take steps to improve access to broadband technology.
- Extend the Acute Hospital Care at Home program waiver.
The Healthy Future Task Force is expected to review the RFI responses in the coming months and use the feedback to inform a health care agenda and develop legislative proposals.