On Thursday, Representative Dan Newhouse and 49 other lawmakers voiced their support for a rule that would make permanent the expansion of telehealth benefits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services initiated the benefit expansion early in the coronavirus pandemic in hopes to provide medical care for those that could not, or should not, travel.
On March 1st, CMS added 135 services to their list of services payable under the Medicare Physician Free Schedule when done through telehealth. Before this action, approximately 14,000 Medicare beneficiaries per week received a Medicare telehealth service. Since the expansion earlier this year, over 10.1 million beneficiaries have received a Medicare service.
Newhouse has supported telehealth on multiple occasions saying it allows rural Americans to enjoy quality healthcare where hospitals and clinics may be a great distance away. In June, he along with Representative Xochitl Torres Small or New Mexico introduced the bipartisan Increasing Rural Health Care Access During the COVID-19 Public Emergency Act, legislation aimed to increase telehealth access for rural communities.
To read the letter sent to CMS, Click Here.
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