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Young introduces bipartisan bill to extend, evaluate telehealth services for seniors

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) on Feb. 8 unveiled a bipartisan bill that would extend certain telehealth services covered by Medicare and authorize a federal evaluation of the impact such services have had on Medicare beneficiaries.

“The telehealth flexibilities put in place by Congress during the early days of the COVID pandemic played a critical role in allowing the most vulnerable Hoosiers to access care safely,” Sen. Young said on Monday. “As Congress evaluates which changes to make permanent, many of these flexibilities are set to expire. We should act now to ensure seniors continue to benefit from these important remote health care services.”

Sen. Young introduced the Telehealth Extension and Evaluation Act, S. 3593, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to extend Medicare payments for two additional years to cover a broad range of telehealth services, including for substance abuse treatment, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Young’s office. 

If enacted, S. 3593 also would commission a study on the impact of the pandemic telehealth flexibilities extended in the bill in order to better inform Congress’ work to make telehealth flexibilities permanent, the summary says.

“We’re still feeling the impacts of coronavirus, especially in older and more vulnerable populations, which is why these telehealth services must be extended,” said Sen. Cortez Masto.

The bill has been referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. 

Ripon Advance News Service

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