House Passes Telehealth Legislation
On July 27, by a vote of 416-12, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4040, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act. Sponsored by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), this bipartisan legislation extends through December 2024 key telehealth waivers implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. These provisions include the removal of geographic restrictions and the expansion of originating sites for telehealth services, as well as flexibility for providers to continue to provide audio-only telehealth services. In addition, the bill would delay the requirement that a Medicare beneficiary attends an in-person visit with their provider before receiving behavioral health services via telehealth.
The Senate must now consider the bill, although it is unclear whether or when the upper chamber will consider this legislation. Without additional congressional action, these telehealth waivers will expire 151 days after the yet-to-be-determined end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.