Guthrie Supports Telehealth Bill, Helps Introduce Bill to Permanently Protect Telehealth Access
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) voted in favor of H.R. 4040, Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021, and helped introduce H.R. 8491 to take further steps to permanently protect telehealth access.
The Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021, which passed the House of Representatives today, would extend certain telehealth flexibilities granted during COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, including temporarily extending certain practitioners’ authority to deliver telehealth care to patients through December 2024.
H.R. 8491 would go further on this telehealth flexibility by permanently extending certain practitioners’ ability to deliver telehealth care to patients after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) is terminated. Guthrie, who serves as the Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, is co-leading H.R. 8491 with Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16), who is the sponsor, and Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21).
“As I have said before, the genie is out of the bottle with telehealth after flexibilities were granted and the use greatly expanded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With many patients now finding telehealth technology beneficial for certain health care services, I want to ensure that telehealth is here to stay and that patients don’t lose access to their health care provider overnight once the Public Health Emergency expires. I’m proud to take needed steps to do this by supporting H.R. 8491, which would permanently expand the list of practitioners who are eligible to provide telehealth services,” said Guthrie.
Congress and the Trump Administration enacted telehealth flexibilities at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to make it easier for people to receive certain health care services from their home. Specifically, H.R. 8491 addresses the authority granted to certain practitioners to provide telehealth care during the COVID-19 PHE, and this authority expires when the COVID-19 PHE is terminated. H.R. 8491 would permanently extend the COVID-19 PHE flexibility that allows these eligible practitioners, including qualified physical therapists, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, and audiologists, to provide telehealth services.