A bipartisan group of 45 Senate and House members has urged congressional leaders to extend telehealth authorities as the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic remains indefinite.
In a joint letter published Friday, the lawmakers said Congress should ensure the government spending package they must pass this month will include expanded coverage of technology-based care and offer access certainty for Medicare beneficiaries.
“An extension of the telehealth authorities would provide assurance that the investments will be sustainable over the long term. It would also reassure patients that their care will not end abruptly,” the letter states.
The lawmakers noted an extension would give stakeholders more time to conduct an analysis of telehealth impact data and produce information that may guide Congress’ next legislative actions on the matter.
They added that more than 170 members of Congress support the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies for Health Act.
The missive was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.