Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced bipartisan legislation to extend Medicare enrollees’ access to telehealth services no matter where they reside.
“Seniors across Nevada have benefited immensely from having access to a wide range of telehealth services throughout the pandemic, and we need to make sure they continue to have access to quality care from their homes” said Senator Cortez Masto. “We’re still feeling the impacts of coronavirus, especially in older and more vulnerable populations, which is why these telehealth services must be extended.”
“The telehealth flexibilities put in place by Congress during the early days of the COVID pandemic played a critical role in allowing the most vulnerable Hoosiers to access care safely. As Congress evaluates which changes to make permanent, many of these flexibilities are set to expire. We should act now to ensure seniors continue to benefit from these important remote health care services,” said Senator Young.
The Telehealth Extension and Evaluation Act would allow Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend Medicare payments for a broad range of telehealth services, including for substance abuse treatment, for an additional two years. The bill would also commission a study on the impact of the pandemic telehealth flexibilities extended in this bill in order to better inform Congress’ work to make telehealth flexibilities permanent.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion for expanded telehealth services throughout the coronavirus pandemic. She has introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently expand access to telehealth services for Americans with high-deductible health plans and legislation to ensure Medicare Advantage enrollees can access affordable to telehealth during the pandemic, even if they can only make an audio connection to providers. She also helped deliver funding through the CARES Act to help health care providers deliver telehealth to patients.