WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), joined Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to help introduce the bipartisan Expanded Telehealth Access Act. During COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to telehealth services to a range of health care providers, and this legislation would permanently expand that eligibility.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the growing use of telehealth services in Nevada and across the country, and this is especially important in our state’s rural and underserved areas where it’s already much harder to access in-person medical care,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation which would ensure seniors on Medicare can maintain telehealth access to a range of medical providers when the public health emergency ends, and I will continue fighting for better access to quality, affordable care.”
BACKGROUND: Earlier this year, Senator Rosen and Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) led a bipartisan group of Senators – including Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) – to introduce their Rural and Frontier Telehealth Expansion Act. This bipartisan legislation would increase Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding for telehealth services, including audio-only telehealth, by five percentage points in frontier states or states with limited access to broadband if those states cover telehealth services under Medicaid.
Senator Rosen is also a co-sponsor of the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for patients to safely connect with their doctors.