WASHINGTON, DC, SEPTEMBER 13, 2022 – The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and ATA Action co-led letter signed by 375 stakeholders urging the Senate to act this fall to ensure certainty for telehealth services. The letter asks the Senate to pass a two-year extension of the flexibilities and waivers allowing temporary access to telehealth put in place under the current public health emergency (PHE), while continuing to push for a permanent extension. Stakeholders are also pushing the Senate to include provisions to lift provider and patient location limitations, remove in-person requirements for telemental health, ensure continued access to clinically appropriate controlled substances without in-person requirements, and increase access to telehealth services in the commercial market, such as provisions in law set to expire at the end of the year that allow people with a high deductible health plan (HDHP) health savings account (HSA) to access telehealth coverage without first having to meet annual deductibles. The stakeholder letter was co-led by the Alliance for Connected Care, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Connected Health Initiative, Consumer Technology Association, Executives for Health Innovation, Health Innovation Alliance, HIMSS, and Partnership to Advance Virtual Care.
“This letter truly speaks from a strong, unified voice, representing the breadth of the healthcare industry. While we, over 375 strong, seek permanency for telehealth access, our hope is that the Senate will at least match the full two years of extensions envisioned by H.R. 4040,” said Kyle Zebley, senior vice president, public policy, the ATA, and executive director, ATA Action. “Further, in response to the recent actions of the House, the Senate should make great policies greater, by including those provisions left out of H.R. 4040.
“Specifically, the Senate should make permanent, or at the very least extend the high deductible health plan (HDHP) health savings account (HSA) telehealth benefit set to expire at the end of the year and pass the remote prescribing provision to ensure continued access to clinically appropriate controlled substances without in-person requirements,” added Zebley. “When included with the policies recently passed with near unanimous support in the House, these additions will ensure Americans, particularly those in underserved and vulnerable communities, maintain access to quality healthcare.”
To read a full copy of the stakeholder letter, please click here.
About ATA Action
ATA Action recognizes that telehealth and virtual care have the potential to transform the healthcare delivery system by improving patient outcomes, enhancing the safety and effectiveness of care, addressing health disparities, and reducing costs. ATA Action is a registered 501c6 company and an affiliated trade organization of the ATA.
About the ATA
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. The ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of leading healthcare delivery systems, academic institutions, technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.