Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) delivered the following remarks on H.R.4040,Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act.
As Prepared for Delivery:
Of the many lessons we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to provide care to patients who are safely in their own home, was truly a highlight. The convenience of telehealth has been enormously popular with patients and providers across the United States. Understanding that we will not be going back to the status quo, we must recognize how telehealth has allowed our country to take a monumental step forward towards digitally enabled care.
Telehealth has allowed for Americans to take care of immediate and necessary health needs in the comfort of their homes without the costs and health risks that are often associated with in person appointments.
While I am in support of this legislation, it does not go far enough. We need to provide a more permanent solution for Medicare providers and most importantly, their patients. It is of the upmost importance that providers are given long term certainty when caring for their Medicare patients and are technologically capable of delivering the best care possible.
Yesterday, I introduced, along with Representatives Greg Murphy and Yvette Herrell, H.R. 8506, to permanently extend Medicare coverage of telehealth services for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics.
This important permanent extension would ensure that following the COVID-19 pandemic, providers and patients continue to have access to telehealth flexibilities, especially in our rural and underserved areas. These are arguably the communities that benefitted the most from an increase in telehealth access.
We will continue to see innovation in technology that will further influence how we deliver care to American patients. While this bill is a step in the right direction, there is more work to be done.
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