WASHINGTON— Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) submitted several questions for the record asking the Administration to continue expanded telehealth services during the Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing on "Oversight of the Trump Administration’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
“The Administration has made great strides in cutting back red tape and burdensome regulations in telehealth and these actions have been incredibly beneficial for health care providers and seniors in my district throughout the pandemic,” Mullin said. “Extending this relief would allow more people in rural communities to get the care they need without having to travel far to get it. Providers and individuals need to know if the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will continue this regulatory relief once the public health emergency ends.”
In the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress expanded the ability to use telehealth in the Medicare program and in the commercial market during the public health emergency. HHS then expanded full telehealth access to all Medicare patients during the pandemic, which has allowed seniors to continue to get care without risking COVID exposure.
Providers have been waiting for the Medicare program to expand the use of telehealth services for years. The services that Medicare reimburse for often set an example for private insurance companies. Since Medicare greatly broadened access to telehealth during the pandemic through reimbursement, so has private insurance.
Mullin’s questions can be found at this link.