May 3, 2021

Bipartisan Senators Work to Expand Access to Home Health via Telehealth

Recently, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) re-introduced the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act. If passed, this legislation would expand access to home healthcare by providing Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 public health crisis and future public health emergencies.

The Partnership applauds this bipartisan effort to help providers meet the rising demand for home health services at a time when the supply of nurses and other in-home care professionals is at a premium.

Home healthcare patients are among the sickest and most vulnerable beneficiaries in the Medicare program, underscoring the importance of consistent access to home health during public health emergencies. Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen how telehealth technologies have allowed home health providers to monitor existing patients who want to limit anyone from visiting their home and for COVID-19 patients needing health care monitoring by trained clinicians.

This legislation is an important step forward for America’s seniors, and we urge Congress to pass this legislation.