WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHSV) — West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar have reintroduced legislation to enhance telehealth support for seniors and increase access to technology for “virtual visits” during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from Senator Capito’s office.

The press release says the Advancing Connectivity during the Coronavirus to Ensure Support for Seniors (ACCESS) Act would help protect older Americans from risking exposure to the virus while accessing remote healthcare and connecting with loved ones.

The press release says specifically, the ACCESS Act would:

  • Authorize an emergency supplemental appropriation of $50 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Telehealth Resource Center to assist nursing facilities receiving funding through Medicare or Medicaid in expanding their use of telehealth services;
  • Establish a grant program authorizing HHS to award nursing facilities grants to nursing facilities to enable residents to participate in “virtual visits” with loved ones while the health risk of in-person visits remains high during the pandemic; and
  • Require the Secretary of HHS to issue guidance on additional ways to improve access to telehealth services in nursing facilities and temporarily designated nursing facilities during the pandemic.

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