APMA Supports New Telehealth Legislation | News | APMA
APMA Supports New Telehealth Legislation

July 20, 2020

3D doctor in laptop

Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06), Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rep. Peter Welch (VT-AL), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), and Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06), announced the introduction of the “Protecting Access to Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Act” on July 16.

According to a press release from the bipartisan group of legislators, this bill continues the expanded use of telehealth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating restrictions on its use in Medicare, providing a bridge for patients currently using the practices because of the crisis, and requiring a study on the use of telehealth during COVID-19. The act calls for:

  • eliminating most geographic and originating site restrictions on the use of telehealth in Medicare and establishing the patient’s home as an eligible distant site so patients can receive telehealth care at home and doctors can still be reimbursed;
  • preventing a sudden loss of telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries by authorizing CMS to continue reimbursement for telehealth for 90 days beyond the end of the public health emergency;
  • making permanent the disaster waiver authority, enabling HHS to expand telehealth in Medicare during all future emergencies and disasters; and
  • requiring a study on the use of telehealth during COVID, including its costs, uptake rates, measurable health outcomes, and racial and geographic disparities.

APMA has long supported expanded use of telehealth for podiatric patients. During the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), CMS has used its emergency authority to grant physicians, including podiatrists, more flexibility to use telehealth in their practices. This bill would extend many of these flexibilities beyond the PHE.

APMA thanks a4ll the bill sponsors for their leadership. To see all of APMA’s related resources and tools on providing health services remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit www.apma.org/EMRemote.

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