Society Letters

Telehealth Sign-on Letter

January 31, 2022

Dear Congressional Leaders:

"Thank you for your leadership in expanding access to virtual care during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). This access has been transformational – Americans now expect that the future of our health care system includes telehealth as a key way to access health care services. Health care providers across the nation have made substantial investments in new technologies to safely treat patients during the pandemic. Now, as we work to overcome the latest COVID-19 surge, providers and health systems are preparing to meet the health care demands of the future and need leadership from Congress in charting a path forward with respect to permanent comprehensive telehealth reform.

Many of the telehealth flexibilities that have helped dramatically improve patient access to care are temporary and limited to the duration of the COVID-19 PHE – and impact both public health programs and private health coverage. While the Biden Administration may elect to extend the COVID-19 PHE, the fact that the PHE determination must be renewed every 90 days and could end later this year has introduced significant uncertainty into all parts of the U.S. health care system. As it stands today, providers must weigh the costs of investing in the technological and clinical infrastructure required to maintain telehealth programs at scale against the possibility that Congress may ultimately decide not to support permanently expanded telehealth coverage."

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