Congressional members urge permanent expansion of telehealth services


Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) led 49 of his colleagues on a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma encouraging permanent expansion of telehealth services.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, Administrator Verma temporarily expanded requirements for telehealth services to Medicare and Medicaid recipients, allowing both rural communities and at-risk individuals increased flexible access to medical care.

“As you know, before the crisis began, only 14,000 beneficiaries per week received a Medicare telehealth service. However, during this crisis, over 10.1 million beneficiaries have received a Medicare telehealth service,” wrote Hern and the others.

“CMS’ proposed rule will help to cement these services, thereby making permanent the common-sense telehealth flexibilities that have helped Medicare beneficiaries during the coronavirus pandemic,” they added.

Rep. Hern and his colleagues believe these expanded requirements should be permanently in place.

Joining Rep. Hern on the letter are:

Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03)
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16)
Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03)
Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07)
Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08)
Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10)
Rep. Mark Green (TN-07)
Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10)
Rep. David P. Roe (TN-01)
Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-03)
Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08)
Rep. Steve King (IA-04)
Rep. Troy Balderson (OH-12)
Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04)
Rep. David McKinley (WV-01)
Rep. Andy Harris (MD-01)
Rep. Trent Kelly (MS-01)
Rep. Bruce Westerman (AR-04)
Rep. Jody Hice (CA-10)
Rep. James R. Baird (IN-04)
Rep. William Timmons (SC-04)
Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-02)
Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-01)
Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25)
Rep. Robert J. Wittman (VA-01)
Rep. Ted Budd (NC-13)
Rep. Neal P. Dunn (FL-02)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Rep. Michael Guest (MS-03)
Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01)
Rep. Debbie Lesko (AZ-08)
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02)
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL)
Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL)
Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06)
Rep. Greg Gianforte (MT-AL)
Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04)
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02)
Rep. Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03)
Rep. Tom Emmer (MN-06)
Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05)
Rep. W. Gregory Steube (FL-17)
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14)
Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07)
Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22)

The text of the letter can be found here.

Source: Rep. Hern release