In a letter submitted to the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health for a hearing Nov. 14, the AHA expressed support for the CONNECT Act (S.2016/H.R. 4189) and urged Congress to allow Medicare beneficiaries to access telehealth services wherever they and their providers are and allow rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers and critical access hospitals to serve as distance sites. AHA also encouraged Congress to: expand eligible telehealth providers to include occupational and physical therapists, speech-language pathologists and audiologists; no longer require beneficiaries to receive an in-person evaluation six months before and annually after initiating behavioral telehealth treatment; explicitly cover audio-only services; allow providers to use telehealth services to recertify hospice patients; and streamline licensure requirements for providers operating across state lines.
 
Testifying at the hearing were representatives from: the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of Michigan; and Harvard Medical School.

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