What Telehealth users should know about Telehealth Expansion Act 2021


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As a user of Telehealth, you should be informed of the recent advancements in the Telehealth expansion act 2021 and what relieves have been announced. Let’s take a look at the significant modifications in the method of remote care and the use of Telehealth in detail.

The Telehealth Expansion Act of 2021

The financial burden of patients is likely to be reduced since a new bill was introduced in Congress that aims to exempt the use of Telehealth, particularly high-deductible health insurance plans.

Patients now have greater flexibility to utilize virtual health. The bill will exempt health visits via Telehealth from the requirements for deductibles. These are included in high-deductible health insurance plans.

Coverage for the first dollar is permitted for virtual healthcare since it was enacted in the Telehealth Expansion Act 2021 (S. 1704). It would permanently extend the safe harbor for Telehealth on HDHP, also known as the High Deductible Health Plan ( HDHP), which was an interim provision of the CARES Act.

This bill is one of the bills currently that are being discussed on Capitol Hill that aim at expanding accessible health coverage and access, which will continue into the post-pandemic time. However, this bill targets specific obstacles, especially for communities that are underserved.

Many people are hesitant to seek healthcare other than emergencies due to the difficulty of having to pay for the high deductibles. The costs have become more costly because COVID-19 has impacted every budget.

The bill seeks to eliminate the stress of having to pay the deductible, making the utilization of the telehealth system more accessible for a variety of services, including therapy and rehabilitation, chronic management as well as behavioral health, and others.

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More than 35 million Americans have high-deductible health insurance plans that include a Health Savings Account (HDHP-HSAs). Over 50 percent of people with an HSA reside in areas with a median income of less than $75,000 annually. The threshold for deductibles of $1,400 per person and $2,800 for families is usually a financial burden.

Employers can provide pre-deductible coverage of telehealth services to employees with HDHP-HSAs will allow them to access healthcare services before the deductible is fulfilled. With the CARES Act, Congress permitted employers to offer low or no-cost health services via Telehealth to workers during the pandemic by creating a safe refuge from specific high-deductible health plan regulations.

Help for Users of Telehealth in Remote Areas:

A different bill was proposed by a group of Senators that aims at the permanent extension of Medicare coverage to certain Telehealth services until the pandemic has ended.

The Protection Rural Telehealth Access Act (S.1988) aims to expand access and access to connected health services for rural areas in the nation. It will continue to cover various emergency measures that were enacted in response to the pandemic COVID-19.

The press release discusses the details of the bill, which are as follows:

  • The payment parity requirement is to be permitted for Telehealth’s audio-only service for clinically appropriate appointments.
  • Let Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) directly bill for telehealth services.
  • Geographical restrictions to be lifted off Medicare coverage, allowing patients to receive healthcare from the comfort of their homes.
  • Permanently allow Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to function as distant locations to provide health services via Telehealth.
  • The coverage is expanding for the synchronous telehealth service.
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The Change is Here:

You would be surprised to know the pace at which changes are taking place in the laws related to Telehealth. According to the American Telemedicine Association, more than 1,000 telehealth-related bills have been introduced in all 50 state legislatures.

The use of telehealth platforms has drastically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, ATA submitted more than 80 formal comment letters this year. It has also worked along with 41 states on legislation that pertain to virtual care.

In 2021, the ATA managed to give testimony in person and virtually at legislative committees in 13 states. It has helped to pass 23 telehealth bills into law. Many other bills are being discussed, and it’s highly likely they will be passed.

Hucu.ai’s HIPAA-compliant healthcare Telehealth solution has its own unique way of connecting healthcare professionals and patients. The provider and patient experience are enhanced through the most secure video conference, audio messaging, two-way text messaging, emergency and scheduling alerts, notes, digital forms, payments, and many more features to enable synchronous and asynchronous communications, engagement, and monitoring. It is fully integrated with the EHR system patient data is stored in cloud-based secure database storage, which can be accessed from anywhere. With real-time messaging, patients’ relatives, physicians, and healthcare providers can be accessed and informed to act immediately. 

We offer a unique and flexible telehealth platform, and to know more about it, connect with our team.

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