Rosen, Cortez Masto Co-Sponsor Legislation to Increase Telehealth Access, “Virtual Visits” for Nursing Homes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) announced their co-sponsorship of the Advancing Connectivity During the Coronavirus to Ensure Support for Seniors (ACCESS) Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to enhance telehealth support for seniors and increase access to technology for “virtual visits” during the coronavirus pandemic.

“During this unprecedented public health crisis, we must do everything in our power to protect our most vulnerable and at risk populations,” said the Senators. “The bipartisan ACCESS Act will provide much needed federal funding to expand and improve telehealth at nursing facilities so seniors can continue to receive medical care and also be able to visit with their loved ones while they adhere to social distancing guidelines to reduce their exposure to the coronavirus. We will continue working on legislation to increase access to health care to protect the health of all Nevadans.”

 BACKGROUND: 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;
  • Require the Secretary of HHS to share recommendations on additional ways to improve access to telehealth services in nursing facilities and temporarily designated nursing facilities during the pandemic; and
  • Establish a program authorizing HHS to award 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.