Policy Issue: Telehealth Flexibilities

Our Position

We must extend or make permanent flexibilities issued through legislation and regulatory waivers that enable hospice palliative care providers to offer needed care to Americans facing serious or life-limiting illness at home or wherever they call home.


Resources


Current Legislation

  • H.R.4189 / S. 2016: Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2023: This legislation would expand coverage of Medicare telehealth services and make some COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, among other provisions.  

Previous Legislation

  • 117th Congress (2021-2022): S. 1512: Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021: This legislation would expand coverage of Medicare telehealth services and make some COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent, among other provisions.  
  • 117th Congress (2021-2022): S. 368: Telehealth Modernization Act : This legislation would remove Medicare’s “geographic and originating site” restrictions for telehealth and protects access to telehealth for patients in rural areas.
  • 116th Congress (2019-2020): H.R.4932 / S.2741: Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019: This legislation would expand the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring services in Medicare, toward the goal of cost savings and quality care.  

Activities

  • January, 2024: Letter signed by 80 organizations serving rural and frontier communities highlighting challenges and concerns of hospice and palliative care providers. Telehealth and broadband access is a highlighted issue.
  • October, 2023: Comments in response to Request for Information from the House Budget Committee titled “Solutions to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Federal Health Care Spending in the Budget.” Comments discussed the need for continued telehealth flexibilities in hospice care.
  • September, 2022: Letter to Congress urging a requirement for CMS to implement more telehealth data collection and oversight.
  • September, 2022: Letter to Senate Finance Committee calling for Congress to require CMS to create codes for telehealth visits on hospice claim forms.
  • September, 2022: Coalition Letter to Senate leadership urging to extend or make permanent telehealth flexibilities provided due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which have transformed access to healthcare for millions of Americans.
  • February, 2022: Coalition Letter to House and Senate leadership urging Congress to extend or make permanent flexibility provided in the CARES Act that allows hospice organizations to perform eligibility recertification via telehealth.
  • February, 2021: Priority Issue for the Policy Update for Winter 2021.