Congressional Action Still Needed to Ensure Continued Access
(WASHINGTON, DC) December 6, 2021– Today, the Connected Health Initiative (CHI) released a statement from executive director Morgan Reed regarding new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) summarizing telemedicine usage by Medicare beneficiaries over the last year:
“The CMS data is notable for two reasons — one, more beneficiaries used telemedicine services thanks to the relaxation of rules during COVID-19, and two, there was no increase in unnecessary utilization of services. For too long, Congress cited unnecessary utilization as a reason not to make these waivers permanent. The data from CMS supports findings by CHI Steering Committee member University of Virginia Center for Telehealth that waiving many of the restrictions on telehealth increased access to healthcare without leading to overuse.
Making these waivers permanent is one portion of increasing access to telemedicine services. These numbers reiterate what we have been saying all along – access to telemedicine helps people get the care they need when and where they need it. HHS must continue to improve access to both patients and caregivers to these tools, and Congress must prioritize mobile broadband deployment across the nation to ensure that all patients, especially those in underserved rural or urban areas, have access to telehealth services right now.”
About CHI: The Connected Health Initiative (CHI) is the nation’s leading consortium of health technology innovators, policy experts, and patient advocates. Together, we advance solutions that enable providers and patients to achieve better health outcomes, reduce health costs and foster the adoption of transformative technology throughout the healthcare system.