Rep. Axne Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Catalog Quality and Effectiveness of Telehealth Programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) and Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12) introduced new bipartisan legislation that would require a formal documentation of the costs, efficiency, and quality of telehealth programs in order to catalog their effectiveness and support the continuation and improvement of telemedicine. These studies will show that telehealth programs are a successful model of health care and should be utilized more in the future.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis has shifted many treatments to telehealth, allowing for services like primary care check-ups, physical therapy sessions, and mental health appointments to continue without unnecessary risk to the patient. In particular, policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic reduced barriers to telehealth access for mental health access under Medicare and Medicaid.
The Knowing the Efficiency and Efficacy of Permanent (KEEP) Telehealth Options Act of 2020 would commission studies by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to gather information on telehealth use during COVID-19 in order to support making telehealth options and adjusted reimbursement rates permanent.