May 9, 2024 - On Wednesday, May 8, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the Preserving Telehealth, Hospital, and Ambulance Access Act (H.R. 8261). This bipartisan legislation provides for a two-year extension of the current telehealth authority, a major first step toward extending temporary telehealth rules put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic for two additional years. Telehealth flexibilities are currently set to expire at year’s end. The unanimous adoption is a positive indicator of potential for passage by the full House later this year.

The next step will be the House Energy and Commerce Committee which will likely follow suit in the next week.

In summary, the Preserving Telehealth, Hospital, and Ambulance Access Act (H.R. 8261)

  • Permits Medicare patients to continue receiving telehealth services in their homes.
  • Allows the use of using audio-only communication platforms.
  • Enables flexibility around the in-person visit for mental health services and behavioral health services via telehealth.
  • Extends essential Medicare programs that sustain rural and low-volume hospitals through September 30, 2025.

A summary can be found here.

If enacted, this bill would provide greater access to care for older adults, particularly those in underserved geographies. 

Powerback Rehab will continue to advocate for telehealth permanency.

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