Gardner, Peters Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Telehealth Services

Washington, D.C. – Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) today reintroduced the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, legislation that would expand access to healthcare in both rural and urban areas by paving the way for Medicare to cover additional telehealth services. Currently, Medicare covers limited telehealth services, setting a poor industry standard, discouraging innovation, and restricting access to specialized services. 

The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow eligible hospitals to test telehealth services through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI). Additionally, it directs CMI to have an independent evaluation conducted to assess the telehealth models for cost, effectiveness, and improvement in quality of care without increasing the cost of delivery. If the telehealth model meets this criteria, then the model will be covered through the greater Medicare program. 

“All Coloradans deserve access to health care services regardless of whether they live in rural or urban areas,”said Senator Gardner. “The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act would allow Medicare to expand coverage of telehealth services and increase access for people living in rural America. It would also incentivize the healthcare industry to develop new technologies that could potentially reduce costs and improve patient health. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to advance this commonsense legislation that will help rural Coloradans access better care.”

“We must ensure that people living in rural areas have equal access to the quality health care,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to reintroduce bipartisan, commonsense legislation to expand telehealth services to Michigan seniors and families in rural and underserved communities. This effort has the potential to improve health outcomes and lower health care costs by reducing the number of expensive emergency room visits, hospitalizations and readmissions.”