Federal Telehealth Legislation on the Horizon

Updated: Sep 21


Senator Lamar Alexander [R-Tenn.] has recently introduced a telehealth bill, Telehealth Modernization Act (S. 4375), contributing to a long list of federal telehealth legislation. His bill would make permanent several telehealth coverage proposals being considered by the legislature and included in other bills recently introduced:

  1. Remove geographic and originating site restrictions from Medicare coverage of telehealth services;

  2. Ensure that telehealth services at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) are covered by Medicare;

  3. Give the Health and Human Services Secretary the authority to permanently expand the types of telehealth services covered by Medicare and the types of care providers who able to deliver those services; and

  4. Enable Medicare to cover more telehealth services used for hospice and home dialysis care.

These provisions were included in temporary federal rule changes to help providers expand telehealth in an effort to continue services in the COVID-19 emergency. Most of those changes are set to expire when the public health emergency ends in October.

In a press release, the Senator said his bill would part of a three-pronged approach to improving the healthcare landscape. He also called for Congress to pass the CONNECT for Health Act, introduced by Senator Brian Schatz [D-Hawaii] to expand Medicare coverage for telehealth, and the COVID-19 HEALS Act, the latest coronavirus relief package. He said his bill comes out of a June 17 hearing in which the Senate health committee asked healthcare experts about the 31 temporary policy changes made to expand telehealth coverage.


His effort is one of many telehealth bills to be introduced. The list includes:

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