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HHS Secretary nominee Xavier Becerra signals support for virtual care

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President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services signaled his support for telehealth during a Senate confirmation hearing this week.

Xavier Becerra, currently attorney general of California, highlighted the effects of inequity on the health of vulnerable communities and noted the role digital health can play in addressing that inequity.

“We know we need the data,” said Becerra during the Tuesday hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “We know we have work to do to fill those gaps.”

WHY IT MATTERS

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., drew attention to several provisions currently in place that have expanded access to telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Those, I hope, will garner your support,” he said. “I think what we’ve learned is they’re not just necessary during COVID; they are necessary into the future after the days of COVID are behind us.””I wholeheartedly believe we’re going to be doing expansion of telehealth,” replied Becerra. “COVID has taught us so much. It’s also the issue of broadband – making sure communities have access to broadband.””But if we don’t learn from COVID how telehealth can help save lives, then we’re in trouble,” […]

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