Welcome to ATA Action
A Call to Action to make access to telehealth permanent and to secure reimbursement for virtual care post COVID!
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) continues to achieve measurable federal and state policy advances on behalf of the telehealth community. This includes laying a foundation for making telehealth flexibilities granted during the COVID-19 public health emergency permanent post-pandemic. We must build upon this foundation to achieve the reality of a policy environment that does not impede access to virtual care.
ATA Action, the ATA’s affiliated trade organization, is our proactive response to the need for expanded advocacy in 2022 and the years to come. ATA Action will follow the ATA’s well-established, carefully defined Policy Principles. In the short term, ATA Action is working to ensure that the temporary flexibilities that were put in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency extend at least through 2023 to avoid a “telehealth cliff,” while simultaneously working to make policies permanent. ATA Action recognizes that telehealth and virtual care have the potential to truly transform the health care delivery system – by improving patient outcomes, enhancing safety and effectiveness of care, addressing health disparities, and reducing costs – if only allowed to flourish.
At the federal level, ATA Action advocates to…
- Make the telehealth flexibilities in the Medicare program permanent, with removal of arbitrary restrictions as a top priority
- Repeal the in-person requirement for Medicare telemental health services
- Allow providers to continue to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine regardless of whether the patient is in a hospital or their home
- Encourage the use of telehealth in high-deductible health plans and ERISA plans
- Guarantee that telehealth is covered through federal programs, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), the Indian Health Service, TRICARE, and the Veterans Health Administration
- Improve the ability to provide health care across state lines while maintaining state authority to regulate the clinical practice
- Remove regulatory roadblocks to decentralized clinical trials
- Align Medicare coverage of remote patient monitoring with how it is practiced
- Increase access to broadband for all Americans
- And more…
At the state level, ATA Action advocates to…
- Defend the significant gains the telehealth community achieved during the pandemic
- Support modality neutral legislation
- Identify states that continue to have legislative or regulatory barriers for remote care and advocate to remove them
- Continue work on data collection efforts to inform state policymakers about the value of telehealth
- Engage state legislatures, professional licensing boards, and state Medicaid agencies to ensure ATA’s Policy Principles are enshrined in law and regulation, including fair reimbursement and coverage parity of telehealth services
- Highlight how telehealth expansion can be a tool to reduce social and racial disparities in health and can increase access to care
- And more…
Patient Voices for Telehealth Coalition
- To ensure patient perspectives are front and center in the debate for telehealth permanency, ATA Action launched the Patient Voices for Telehealth Coalition (PVTC).
- PVTC members attend regular policy meetings with ATA Action members, government relations teams and ATA Action staff to cross-share challenges, opportunities, strategies and solutions to advance telehealth policy.
- PVTC members have access to a growing network of partners to collaborate with on specific advocacy action at the state and national levels.
- Toolkits, templates, sample letters and other resources are made available to PVTC members and their constituents to accelerate their organizations’ advocacy efforts.
- PVTC members can participate directly in advocacy activities that ATA Action undertakes.
- Membership is open to state, regional and national patient organizations and nonprofits that have a vested interest in ensuring access to telehealth services.
- PVTC members are invited to support joint advocacy activities and are encouraged to alert and activate their own members in support of favorable telehealth policies.