Category: Legislation

Washington is Awash in New and Reintroduced Telehealth Bills

In advance of the next session of Congress, lawmakers are scrambling to file new bills or resubmit old bills that aim to expand telehealth access and coverage through and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. By Eric Wicklund January 29, 2021 – The telehealth bills are starting to pile up on Capitol Hill. At...

Trump, Congress Give New Life to FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program

The relief bill signed into law this past weekend by President Trump includes $250 million for the Federal Communications Commission’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which was shut down in July after exhausting its budget. By Eric Wicklund December 29, 2020 – The latest federal COVID-19 relief bill is giving new life to a...

U.S. Lawmakers Reintroduce House Bill to Safeguard Telehealth Access

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 26, 2021)—Rep. Mike Thompson (D-California), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Telehealth Caucus, along with caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vermont), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and David Schweikert (R-Arizona) and caucus member Rep. Doris Matsui (D-California)announced the reintroduction of the Protecting Access to...

ATA, HIMSS Lobby Congress to Extend Telehealth Freedoms Through ‘21

In a letter to Congressional leaders, several telehealth groups have asked that emergency measures enacted during the coronavirus pandemic be kept in place through 2021 as Congress continues to work on long-term coverage. By Eric Wicklund December 15, 2020 – Telehealth advocates are lobbying Congress to get something done before the end...

Congress Provides Nearly $7 Billion in New Broadband Funding in the Latest COVID-19 Stimulus Legislation

The historic $900 billion coronavirus (COVID-19) relief package deal that the President signed into law this past weekend – the second largest economic stimulus legislation ever produced by Congress – includes $7 billion in new funding for broadband-related purposes. Most of these funds will go to new programs seeking...

FCC Requests Public Comments for $250M COVID-19 Telehealth Program Round 2 Fund Distribution

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau announced Wednesday that it is requesting public comment for Round 2 distribution of an additional $249.95 million for its COVID-19 Telehealth Program; the Round 2 funding comes from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The FCC started the program in March 2020 with $200 million...

HHS invests $8 million to address gaps in rural telehealth through the Telehealth Broadband Pilot Program

The program will be implemented in four state community locations, including in Alaska, Michigan, Texas and West Virginia. Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, has awarded $8 million to fund the Telehealth Broadband Pilot program, which assesses the...

COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Bill

The following is a summary of the elements contained within SEC. 903. Of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Entitled, “FCC COVID–19 TELEHEALTH PROGRAM.” $249,950,000 in additional funds is appropriated for the FCC COVID–19 Telehealth Program In early January, 2021, the FCC shall issue a Public Notice of a...

Consolidated Appropriations Act – 2021 – COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Bill – 2020-12-21

SEC. 903. FCC COVID–19 TELEHEALTH PROGRAM. (a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section— (1) the term ‘‘appropriate congressional com- mittees’’ means— (A) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate; and (B) the Committee on Energy and Com- merce of the House of Representatives; (2) the term ‘‘Commission’’ means the...

Diving into the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act

The Medicare home health benefit does not currently permit the inclusion of telehealth services as a reimbursable service as part of the plan of care. Despite this, many home health agencies (HHAs) have found great value for their patients in including telehealth as part of care delivery and do...

MEDPAC Presentation Offers Telehealth Policy Options for Medicare

Last week a presentation from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) surfaced, presenting policy options for expanding telehealth in Medicare. MEDPAC is a nonpartisan legislative branch agency that provides the US Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program.  The presentation starts by putting the current telehealth policy environment into perspective, with...

Congress Eyes Permanent Medicare Coverage for Telehealth from Therapists

A bill introduced this week would permanently extend Medicare coverage for telehealth services delivered by physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and audiologists. By Eric Wicklund November 18, 2020 – A group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would ensure Medicare coverage for telehealth services provided by physical and...
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