WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman David Schweikert joined 48 lawmakers in calling for the expansion of access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic to be made permanent. Provisions from the CONNECT for Health Act have allowed Medicare beneficiaries in all areas of the country, and in their homes, to utilize telehealth services. This provision was included in previous COVID-19 legislation but will expire following the pandemic unless congressional leaders act now to make those measures permanent.
“It has been incredible to see the expansion and appreciation for telehealth services being utilized since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Schweikert. “This technology has the ability to provide a comfortable, and accessible tool for patients to connect with their doctors, and must be further expanded beyond this crisis. I am pleased to see this healthcare technology widely supported amongst my colleagues, and look forward to continuing our work on the Telehealth Caucus to ensure every American has access to their healthcare.”
In their letter, the lawmakers highlight the growing use and benefits of telehealth during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as patients seek to avoid traveling to hospitals and other providers and instead receive care at home. New data shows that the number of Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth services increased by nearly 13,000 percent in just a month and a half during the pandemic..
Schweikert was joined by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Angus King (I-Maine), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), David McKinley (R-W.Va.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.), David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Michael Guest (R-Miss.), Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Elise M. Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), and Ron Kind (D-Wis.).
To read the full text of the letter, click here.
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