The legislation sponsored by the 50 senators will permanently remove the geographic restrictions on the telehealth sites. Also, it is expanding the originating sites among the other provisions.
The bipartisan group comprises half of the senators in the US. It has reintroduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies for Health Act of 2021. The act will expand the coverage for Medicare telehealth services. It is also making some of the COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent within the other provisions.
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said in a statement from last year that telehealth works conveniently. It is very popular, and it is going to stay.
He further added that the comprehensive bill is making it much easier for more people to get safe care regardless of where they live. Schatz was among the six senators who are leading the bipartisan group for the lawmakers in the reintroduction of this bill.
The questions about the future of telehealth regulations are coming up since the federal government opted to replay them during the pandemic.
The cliff of telehealth is now looming. It is casting more uncertainty and concern for the health and for the safety of the Medicare beneficiaries. Also, it is looking for the sustainability of its overburdened health care system.
The CONNECT Act is going to protect the seniors from the telehealth cliff.
The CONNECT Act is aiming to answer some of the questions where Medicare has concerns. The 2021 version of the legislation is coming with these regulations:
(1) It will permanently remove the geographic restrictions on telehealth services. Also, it will expand the originating sites for including the home and other sites.
(2) It is allowing the health centers and rural health clinics to offer telehealth services.
(3) Offers the Secretary of Health with Human Services the permanent authority to waive the restrictions
(4) It is allowing the waiver of telehealth restrictions during public health emergencies.
(5) It requires a study to learn more about how telehealth is being used during the pandemic.
The telehealth rates are skyrocketing after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, some of the patients are feeling safer with the return of in-person care.
According to a recent HIMSS Market Intelligence survey it is found that there are nearly two respondents between the ages of 18-56. This is not the first time a version of CONNECT Act is getting within the Senate. Schatz and Wicker were unveiling the initial legislation in 2016.