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U.S. CONGRESSMAN BILL JOHNSON Proudly Representing Eastern and Southeastern Ohio

Press Releases

Bill Johnson Introduces Legislation to Improve Telehealth Services

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Washington, October 30, 2019 | Ben Keeler (330.337.6951) | comments
Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after he introduced the bipartisan CONNECT for Health Act of 2019:
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Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) released the following statement after he introduced the bipartisan CONNECT for Health Act of 2019:

Today, along with Representative Mike Thompson of California, Bill Johnson introduced the CONNECT for Health Act of 2019. This legislation focuses on expanding telehealth services in order to promote a higher quality of healthcare for patients, increase access to healthcare services - especially for people living in rural areas - and, importantly, save precious Medicare dollars at the same time. 

“Study after study demonstrates that the use of telehealth to furnish healthcare services is beneficial for quality of care, access to care, and reduced spending,” Bill Johnson said. “However, to keep the ball rolling in the right direction, we’ve got to remove some of the barriers that limit the use of telehealth. This legislation does just that.”

The current Medicare requirements regarding telehealth services only allow a small number of Americans to take advantage of telehealth services.  Specifically, only those people living in specific geographic or rural regions of our country who are trying to access specific healthcare providers falling under the existing requirements are allowed to utilize these services. In fact, less than 1 percent of Medicare beneficiaries can take advantage of telehealth services. The CONNECT for Health Act would reduce the barriers that are keeping Medicare beneficiaries from receiving telehealth services by removing many of the geographic restrictions that would assist patients trying to receive mental health and hospice services, and expand access to certain emergency medical care services as well.

Reps. Peter Welch of Vermont and David Schweikert of Arizona were also House co-sponsors. Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate by a bipartisan coalition of Senators: Schatz, Wicker, Cardin, Thune, Warner, and Hyde-Smith.

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