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In telehealth hearing, House committee weighs access against cost


Members of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce convened Tuesday to discuss the future of virtual care.

Policymakers and stakeholders emphasized the importance of balancing access to care with addressing concerns around fraud and overutilization.

“Modernizing telehealth policy to meet the moment” is one of lawmakers’ most important responsibilities, said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif.

“I’ve said before the genie is out of the bottle concerning flexibilities and expansion, and I believe this,” said Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.

At the same time, Guthrie pointed out, broadband access continues to be a limiting factor – both in rural and urban environments.

“We need to ensure quality of care is still given by the provider, no matter the setting,” said Guthrie.The hearing came on the heels of the reintroduction of the bipartisan Telehealth Modernization Act in both the House and the Senate, which would safeguard access to coverage after the COVID-19 pandemic.Witnesses offered a variety of strategies for effectively addressing the future of telehealth.Some, such as Stanford Health Care Chief of Staff Dr. Megan Mahoney, noted that the transition to telehealth amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic enabled more than 225,000 of the system’s patients to complete their first video visit.In many ways, said Mahoney, telehealth […]

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