Health and Wellness Informatics News

Telemental Health Care Access Act is about to repeal all the in-person service requirements

The bipartisan bill will act to eliminate a mandate for the medicare patients who will opt for receiving virtual behavioral care.

A bipartisan group of senators this week came up with the introduction of the Telemental Health Care Access Act of 2021. It is gearing towards reducing the hurdles to offer virtual behavioral health services.

Sens. Bill Cassidy, R La, Tina Smith, Ben Cardin, D- Minn, D- Md, John Thune, and R- S.D. has introduced this bill. It would remove the statutory requirement for Medicare beneficiaries. It will also be seen in person within the six months of receiving those mental health services with the help of telehealth.

Over this pandemic, they have seen an increased need for telehealth services. It is also regardless of both the substance use disorder and for the physical ailments or the mental health issues. Medicare patients deserve direct access to the telemental health service. This bill removes all the barriers to make this possible. Virtual behavioral health has become successful, particularly during the COVID -19 pandemic. It has faced the demand of ratcheting up during this crisis.

As per a press statement from Cassidy’s office, the end of the year packed got the approval from Congress. It has allowed the Medicare behavioral health patients to get the treatment in their home and other sites of the mental health services.

However, it has been enacted as an in-person requirement for such patients before they could get access to telemental care. The legislation that got the proposal this week would eliminate the requirements. At the same time, it will call for a study and a report on the utilization of mental health services.

During the pandemic, telehealth has helped the fears of Americans, as it has allowed them to avoid the risk of visiting the hospital or the clinic. Now they have the opportunity to build on this success with the passing of their bipartisan bill. It will also make sure that Medicare patients can get access to the telemental health services. There is no additional barrier.

The past few months have seen a flurry of legislation in Congress for pro-telehealth. It has elected the officials who seem to recognize the looming of the telehealth cliff. It would reinstate the current regulations. The bipartisan group of senators has also introduced the Protecting Rural Telehealth Access Act. It is aiming at ensuring that the underserved community health providers can access virtual care.