On March 2, the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a virtual hearing on The Future of Telehealth: How COVID-19 is Changing the Delivery of Virtual Care. The subcommittee is chaired by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (CA-18) with Reps. Matsui (CA-6), Cardenas (CA-29), Ruiz (CA-36) and Barragan (CA-44) among its members.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services extended significant regulatory flexibilities that allowed hospitals and health systems to greatly expand the use of telehealth and other virtual services.
CHA submitted a statement for the hearing record, noting that flexibilities have been critical to maintaining access to care for patients while preventing the spread of COVID-19. These include the removal of geographic, originating site, and provider type restrictions; the ability to see both new and established patients via telehealth; and equivalent provider reimbursement for services provided via telehealth and in-person. The statement also notes that telehealth will continue to be an important method to improve access to care and reduce barriers to entry for some of the most vulnerable populations.
Megan Mahoney, MD, chief of staff for Stanford Health Care, testified at the virtual hearing and submitted written testimony.
CHA will continue to work with Congress to advance initiatives that improve access to care.