ATA Seeks Telehealth PHE Measures ‘At Least Through 2022’

By John Commins

Telehealth stakeholders are asking the Biden Administration to provide guidance on the anticipated end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency while also calling for the extension of the PHE and its telehealth provisions through the end of 2022.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, American Telemedicine Association CEO Ann Mond Johnson said the PHE created “flexibilities that have allowed clinicians across the country to provide all Americans high-quality virtual care at a time of great need.”

“Patients and providers know the ‘telehealth cliff’ is coming with the end of the PHE should Congress fail to act in time,” Mond Johnson said. “However, a significant amount of uncertainty surrounds the question of when the PHE will actually expire,”

“We recognize there are many unknowns related to the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic over the next 12 to 24 months. However, we implore Secretary Becerra to provide as much predictability and certainty as possible to ensure adequate warning before patients are pushed over this looming cliff,” she said.

Becerra this month extended by 90 days the PHE, effective October 18 through January 16, 2022.

Mond Johnson noted that in January 2021 the Biden administration promised governors across the nation that it would provide predictability and stability during the PHE.

“This was a simple action but proved to be hugely beneficial to state and local leaders, federal policymakers, providers, and patients who all relied on a sense of certainty that PHE policies—including those for telehealth—would not be taken away without warning,” Mond Johnson said.

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.