Federal Telehealth Extension Bill Advances to Senate
By Amy Lynn Sorrel

Signaling strong support to build on the COVID-19-era gains in telemedicine, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that would extend Medicare’s telehealth payment and regulatory flexibilities through the end of 2024, should the public health emergency (PHE) end before then.

That includes paying the same rate for telemedicine visits as for in-person visits and allowing use of audio-only telemedicine services. It also removes the originating site restriction and allows Medicare patients to be seen in their own home.   

Following a 416-12 vote, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2022 (House Resolution 4040) now heads to the Senate.   

The Texas Medical Association and American Medical Association continue to advocate that the temporary telehealth flexibilities be made permanent.   

“The COVID-19 public health emergency made plain that care via telehealth should be available to all Medicare patients, especially with their own physicians, regardless of where they live or how they access these services,” AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., MD, said.   

Meanwhile, Congress voted to extend the Medicare telehealth flexibilities for five months after the PHE ends. As of this writing, the PHE is in place through Oct. 13 after Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra renewed it in July.   

TMA has developed and curated numerous resources to help you adopt and adapt to telemedicine to augment your brick-and-mortar practice. Check them out on TMA’s Telemedicine page

Last Updated On

August 31, 2022

Originally Published On

August 17, 2022

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