Lucas joins as cosponsor of bipartisan, bicameral telehealth expansion measure

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) recently cosponsored bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would expand the use of telehealth services for Americans.

“Telehealth has demonstrated that cost-effective technologies can be utilized to expand healthcare access to Oklahoma’s rural and urban communities alike,” Rep. Lucas said on July 8. “While telehealth was widely used throughout the coronavirus pandemic, it’s long been an essential tool to connect patients efficiently and conveniently to their medical professionals.” 

Rep. Lucas on June 22 cosponsored the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, H.R. 2903, which was introduced in April by U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and David Schweikert (R-AZ) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and S. 1512, which U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) unveiled in the U.S. Senate.

If enacted, the measure would remove barriers to telehealth coverage by waiving certain requirements, according to the text of the bill, including any limitation on the type of technology used to furnish telehealth services; qualifications for an originating site; any geographic requirement; and any limitation on the types of practitioners who are eligible to furnish telehealth services.

“Oklahomans deserve access to innovative, affordable resources like telehealth, which is why I’m proud to cosponsor the CONNECT for Health Act,” said Rep. Lucas. “This bipartisan bill will build on the success of telehealth in states like Oklahoma and will help deliver better health care to Americans across the country.”

Additionally, the CONNECT for Health Act would allow telehealth to be used to recertify patients as eligible for hospice benefits, work to prevent telehealth fraud and abuse, create reporting and analysis mechanisms, and help to improve testing for future telehealth models, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Lucas’ staff.