Health and Wellness Informatics News

House reps are permanently safeguarding audio-only telehealth coverage

A bipartisan bill has been introduced this week. It is allowing the providers to offer audio-only telehealth coverage.

Reps. Jason Smith, R-Mo, and Josh Gottheimer, D- NJ, came up with the introduction of the legislation this week. It is ensuring the Medicare enrollees have its expansion with access to the audio-only telehealth.

HR 3447, or the Permanency for Audio-Only Telehealth Act, would opt for allowing Medicare coverage. It will be applicable for the audio-only telehealth services after the public health emergency due to COVID.

The pandemic is requiring the US healthcare system to innovate and embrace viable methods for healthcare. All the patients in the rural areas are back home in Missouri. None of it has been more beneficial compared to the expansion of audio-only telehealth.

This method for healthcare delivery will serve as a bridge for providing care to remain a permanent option for the patients. They will gain access to technology and broadband.

According to legislators, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are allowing more access to the providers. It can offer audio-only telehealth under the Medicare and Medicaid plans during the emergency of public health. This is now allowing the rural patients and the low-income people, and seniors to continue with the necessary care.

However, these flexibilities will expire during the end of the public health emergency. At the same time, it is presenting a clear requirement for all long-term policy. Besides, it would also remove the geographic and site restrictions for Medicare beneficiaries. It will help in accessing the audio-only telemedicine.

The pandemic has created various challenges for everyone. It is also showing us that technology can offer safe and much dependable communication to the patients and doctors.

The health equity advocates are repeatedly pointing out the need for audio-only telehealth coverage. Biden’s administration is taking some steps to address this need for connectivity. At the same time, other legislators have also introduced similar bills which are focusing on the coverage of virtual care.