WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, applauded President Trump’s signing of an executive order expanding rural telehealth services:
“President Trump has taken an important step toward ensuring that rural Americans can continue to access quality health care during this pandemic and into the future. I have long advocated for telehealth services, and the outbreak of COVID-19 has made clear how important telehealth is for keeping Nebraskans safe and healthy,” said Senator Fischer
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration has expanded access to telehealth, especially in rural communities, and has given flexibility to Medicare providers in these areas. The Executive Order proposes to permanently expand these provisions.
The order also requires the Department of Health and Human Services to announce a new payment model testing innovations that empower rural hospitals to transform health care in their communities on a broader scale. Senator Fischer looks forward to seeing the proposed model from HHS and evaluating the impact it will have on rural providers. To improve connectivity, the President’s order also directs the Federal Government to launch a joint initiative in 30 days to improve the health care communication infrastructure and to expand rural health care services.
Last month, Senator Fischer introduced bipartisan telehealth legislation with Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.). The bill would require the federal government to study the actions taken to expand access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic and report on how to improve those services. Read more about that legislation here.