AHCA/NCAL Calls on Senate Leaders to Extend Telehealth Provisions


AHCA/NCAL, in coalition with 375 organizations, sent a joint letter to bipartisan leadership of the U.S. Senate urging action on telehealth legislation this fall. The letter asks the Senate to pass a two-year extension of important telehealth policies enacted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which are currently set to expire 151 days after the end of the PHE. The letter represents the diversity of groups across the health care spectrum whose constituencies are impacted by telehealth policy consumer groups representing: 
  • ​Residents of nursing facilities and assisted living residences 
  • Mental health,  
  • Chronic disease 
  • Primary care
  • Providers  
    • Physicians
    • Nurses
    • Physical and occupational therapists
    • Speech-language pathologists 
  • Employers representing millions of Americans who receive their coverage through their jobs. 
Nearly three in four Americans “strongly agree” or “somewhat agree” that patients should have the option to receive telehealth, even after the pandemic, which increases to 84 percent among recent telehealth patients. Most recently, reports from the HHS Office of Inspector General showed that that dually-eligible beneficiaries were more likely than others to use telehealth to ensure access to care and that telehealth expanded access for minority populations. 
The coalition letter also calls on the Senate to pass legislation that would extend critical telehealth flexibilities, including:  

  • ​Provisions to waive provider and patient location limitations 
  • Remove in-person requirements for telemental health 
  • Ensure continued access to clinically appropriate controlled substances without in-person requirements 
  • Increase access to telehealth services in the commercial market, including for those with a high-deductible health plans coupled with a health savings account (HDHP-HSA) 
As demonstrated by the House, which passed the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act (H.R. 4040) – telehealth is an overwhelmingly bipartisan issue.