CONNECT for Health Proposes Fewer Barriers to Telehealth for Medicare Beneficiaries

During the week of November 4, 2019, six U.S. senators re-introduced bipartisan legislation, the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019, to improve health outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with physicians, as well as help cut costs for patients and providers by eliminating barriers to the use of telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries. It would: provide the Secretary of Health and Human Services with the authority to waive telehealth restrictions when necessary; remove geographic and originating site restrictions for services; allow rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to provide telehealth services; and require a study to explore ways to expand telehealth so people could access healthcare in their homes. The legislation has been endorsed by more than 120 organizations such as the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representative. Read more.