The publication reports that stakeholders continue calls for some of the relaxed telehealth requirements established during the COVID-19 pandemic to be continued, with some turning their focus towards Congress.
Stevenson and Herber told Inside Health Policy that they’re looking to see which statutory changes Congress could make. Congress would have to pass legislation to eliminate the originating site requirement, expand qualifying providers, allow rural health clinics and community health centers to be reimbursed as distant sites, remove state licensure requirements, and allow face-to-face end-stage renal disease evaluations via telehealth, both say.
According to Stevenson, the American Telemedicine Association is pushing Congress to pass legislation that would give CMS more authority to decide which providers can use telehealth and which services can be conducted via telehealth. “Taking away the statutory restrictions that arbitrarily block that from happening is really our goal,” Stevenson said, adding that she doesn’t want to see the new telehealth flexibilities eliminated at the end of the pandemic.
“All these providers have made the investment in building up their infrastructure, training their clinicians, treating their patients, making this part of their workflow. We shouldn’t turn it off, wait a year, and then turn some parts of it back on,” Stevenson added.