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December 09, 2021
Congressman David Schweikert Joins Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Telehealth
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) joined Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22), Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-05), Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-22) and Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16) in introducing the Telehealth Extension Act of 2021, legislation that will expand patient access to telehealth and allow for its continuation beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) period.
Telehealth alternatives have been crucial to bridging primary care physicians with their patients in a time when access has been limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. This modern legislation will authorize continued care to patients across the U.S. by making their primary care physicians more accessible. It’s passage will be pivotal in ensuring patients get answers sooner, regardless of distance or medical conditions that may make in-person visits challenging.
“I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will protect patient access to a vital healthcare tool. Throughout the pandemic, telehealth has proven time and again to deliver high-quality care to individuals regardless of where they live,” said Congressman Schweikert. “This legislation is a critical step to increase accessibility, improve outcomes, and equip our nation with the tools it needs to respond to future emergencies. I look forward to working with my colleagues to protect access to telehealth for each and every American.”
“As Americans overcome Zoom fatigue and vaccinations enable many to return to the office and classroom, one aspect of virtual life is here to stay. Expanded access to telehealth, permitted by emergency waivers, has transformed health care delivery—helping patients connect easily and safely with their physicians in a timely manner,” said Congressman Doggett.
“As America emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress continues to make great strides in providing Americans—especially rural Americans—with access to quality healthcare by expanding telehealth,” said Congressman Nunes. “In particular, this legislation will extend key COVID-19 emergency telehealth waivers for another two years so that healthcare providers and Critical Access Hospitals can continue delivering telehealth services to the Americans who most need them.”
“Expanding telehealth has been a policy focus throughout my time in public service, since my days in the California State Senate. Telehealth is a cost-effective and efficient way to deliver health care, particularly for rural and underserved areas. Today as Co-Chair of the Telehealth Caucus, I am proud to join Chairman Doggett in introducing the Telehealth Extension Act, important bipartisan legislation to make telehealth available for more patients no matter where they receive care. I look forward to advancing this and other important bills to increase the use of telehealth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman Thompson.
“Unfortunately, many of the telehealth flexibilities families have come to rely on are going to expire,” said Congressman Kelly. “This bill extends those, then goes further to lower barriers to health care for rural and underserved areas. I’m proud to be co-leading this bipartisan effort and am grateful to all of my colleagues for their tireless efforts on behalf of all Americans.”
To read the full text of the bill, click
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