HIMSS urges action to support telehealth legislation

Sept. 26, 2022

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is sponsoring a petition on their website to urge senators to extend key telehealth flexibilities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, crucial telehealth flexibilities were introduced, making it easier for patients across the country to access healthcare services. In early 2023, those flexibilities are set to expire. Join us to ensure that we extend these vital offerings to patients who need them by urging your senators to support the Advancing Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022.

Unless Congress acts, telehealth flexibilities that have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic will end 151 days after the Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires. Tell your Senators to follow the House of Representatives and pass long-term telehealth flexibilities that will extend the coverage of vital telehealth services under Medicare until at least December 31, 2024. 

In our current state, patients and health care providers must rely on the HHS (Health & Human Services) Secretary to extend the federal PHE 90 days at a time to ensure access to critical telehealth services isn’t lost. For over two years, Medicare beneficiaries and their providers have relied on telehealth as a safe, effective, and essential part of care delivery. They deserve certainty that these vital services will still be here after the PHE expires.  In July, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 4040, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 with a vote of 416-12. The legislation would extend many critical telehealth flexibilities that were enacted in response to COVID-19 through at least 2024. Specifically, the bill would: 

  • Allow federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics to continue providing telehealth services
  • Allow beneficiaries to receive telehealth services at any site, including the patient's home, regardless of geographic location 
  • Expand the types of providers allowed to provide telehealth services, including OTs, PTs, and SLPs.
  • Continue coverage for audio-only telehealth services
  • Delay implementation of in-person requirements for mental health telehealth services 

These vital telehealth flexibilities have helped millions of individuals across the U.S. access care with ease and have helped ease the provider and specialist shortage in rural and underserved areas. Take Action! Urge your Senators to support this critical piece of legislation and pass the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act of 2022 so the President can sign the bill into law!

HIMSS release