Legislation Would Allow Medicare To Continue Payments for a Broad Range of Telehealth Services for Older Coloradans
Washington, D.C.— Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet co-sponsored bipartisan legislation, led by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), to extend Medicare enrollees’ access to telehealth services no matter where they reside.
“Telehealth services have kept Coloradans safe during this public health crisis by ensuring seniors can access quality medical care at home and protecting health care workers,” said Bennet. “As we return to normal, telehealth still remains the best option for vulnerable populations to receive care, and I urge my colleagues to pass this bill to extend these critical services.”
The Telehealth Extension and Evaluation Act would authorize the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to continue Medicare payments for a broad range of telehealth services, including for substance abuse treatment, for an additional two years beyond the Public Health Emergency. The bill would also commission a study on the effect of the pandemic telehealth flexibilities in order to inform Congress’s work on how to make telehealth flexibilities permanent.
Bennet has championed an extension of telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Last year, Bennet introduced the CONNECT for Health Act to expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make permanent COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for patients to safely connect with their doctors. In June 2020, he introduced legislation expanding telemental health services in rural areas. In March 2020, Bennet led his colleagues in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase subsidies to health care providers through the Rural Health Care Program to expand telehealth access during the pandemic.
The bill text is available HERE.