Get to Know the Public Health Emergency: Telehealth Flexibilities
|The federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ushered in flexibilities for care provided via telehealth. Read on to learn more about the status of the PHE and what it means for the future of telehealth.|
|The federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) has been in effect since January 2020. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) stated that it will give states 60 days' notice prior to ending the Public Health Emergency.1
The current PHE is set to expire in mid-October 2022, but HHS is past the 60-day notice period, indicating the PHE will be extended for at least another 90 days, through mid-January 2023.
|Status of Telehealth Flexibilities|
|The PHE has allowed providers, including community health centers, to expand access to telehealth services by providing flexibilities that were not traditionally allowed under Medicare. When Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act in March, the bill included an extension of Medicare telehealth flexibilities for five months after Public Health Emergency ends including:
|In July, the House of Representatives passed the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act, which would extend Medicare telehealth flexibilities through December 31, 2024, or the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, whichever occurs later. The bill would continue to allow coverage of audio-only telehealth services and delay the in-person visit requirements for Medicare behavioral health services delivered via telehealth.
However, the bill has not been passed by the Senate.
|Contineud Advocacy for Telehealth Policies|
|The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and health centers across the country are continuing to advocate for permanent telehealth policies that expand care for patients.
Learn more about telehealth priorities for health centers >>>
| Declarations of a Public Health Emergency. (2022). Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response. Retrieved from https://aspr.hhs.gov/legal/PHE/Pages/default.aspx|