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Capito joins bipartisan effort to ensure expanded telehealth services continue beyond pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today joined Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) in calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide Congress with a written plan and timeline about any potential changes to Medicare rules governing telehealth.

Through the coronavirus relief package, Congress provided HHS with the authority to waive telehealth requirements for the length of the COVID-19 public health crisis. This has made it possible for patients to continue to receive care without exposing themselves or providers to the risk of COVID-19, and for providers to keep helping patients. Additionally, telehealth has provided a source of financial stability as providers had to delay non-emergency procedures. However, the senators have heard of patients being worried that Medicare’s temporary changes to telehealth rules will be rolled back without much notice.

“We appreciate your recognition that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more patients and providers see the value of telehealth. We believe telehealth is an important tool that enhances patient care and can provide efficiency in health care delivery,” the senators wrote. “While telehealth may not be able to replace all in-person care, we believe it should continue to be an option to meet individual care needs. We therefore ask you to continue working with Congress to provide transparency and clarity for your plans for the future of telehealth.”

Senators Capito, Cassidy, and Smith were joined in sending the letter by Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Jacky Rosen (D-N.V.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), David A. Perdue (R-Ga.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

You can read the letter here.

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