Commentary: Expand Telehealth Permanently

by Diana Girnita   When the fear of getting COVID-19 was high and lock-down orders were in place, telehealth was an important resource, allowing patients to connect with doctors by live video, telephone, and remote patient monitoring without overcrowding hospitals and doctors’ offices. During this time of isolation and drastic increases in…

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Pennsylvania May Make It Easier to Offer Telehealth for Mental Health Care

Telehealth in Pennsylvania continues to make strides as temporary waivers approved during COVID-19 are made permanent.

A previous bill introduced by Rep. Jeff Wheeland, R-Lycoming, would align state and federal guidance on home health care. The latest one, HB2419, introduced by Rep. Tina Pickett, R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna, would allow psychiatrists to offer mental health services virtually like they do with in-person services.

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Telehealth Expansion Becomes Law in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill into law that creates more options for telehealth patients and more protections for providers.

The law, in the works for nearly a year, drew praise from The American Cancer Society Action Network and The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group that has pushed for expanded services since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Commentary: Biden Needs to Decide If COVID Is Still a ‘National Emergency’

The omicron variant may be nearing its peak in some states, but across the country it’s produced a dizzying array of conflicting signals on whether the nation should remain under a COVID national emergency or move on to an endemic “new normal.”

Comedian Bill Maher’s “I don’t want to live in your mask-paranoid world anymore” monologue went viral last week, just days after the Atlantic, the standard-bearer journal for the liberal intelligentsia, ran a story headlined: “COVID Parenting Has Passed the Point of Absurdity.” Accompanying the article was a black-and-white photo of a woman frozen in a more desperate and primal state of panic than the subject of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

Omicron, for most people without co-morbidities, produces much milder symptoms than do the coronavirus’s previous variants, but it’s far more infectious, racing through schools, shutting down classrooms and forcing parents to consult their district’s ever-shifting COVID “decision trees” on a seemingly daily basis.

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Reason Foundation Report Recommends Iowa Reduce Regulations in Telehealth Policy

Iowa should make a few public policy changes to improve telehealth services, which have become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic, policy analysts said in a report Reason Foundation released Wednesday.

Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute Senior Fellow Josh Archambault and Reason Foundation Policy Analyst Vittorio Nastasi co-authored the state-by-state report, “Rating the States on Telehealth Best Practices: A Toolkit for a Pro-Patient and Provider Landscape.”

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Ohio Legislature Looks to Expand Telehealth Services

The Ohio General Assembly moved closer to permanently expanding access to telehealth for Ohioans after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the option nearly two years ago.

The Ohio House is expected to concur with House Bill 122, which passed the Senate on Wednesday, creating policies that policy groups and health care associations have pushed for since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Commentary: Instead of Tightening Government’s Grip on Healthcare, Give Americans a Personal Option

Healthcare workers

As America begins to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview, the lesson from this once-in-a-generation crisis couldn’t be clearer: We need less, not more, central planning in our lives.

For example, a study earlier this year by health economist Casey Mulligan revealed that economic lockdowns mandated by government were counterproductive, given the significant steps workplaces took to prevent the virus from spreading.

The same is true with health care. By now, most folks know the story of how Operation Warp Speed — the previous administration’s unprecedented plan to trim bureaucracy from the vaccine development process — resulted in the creation of multiple safe and effective vaccines in record time. But an equally important storyline is how states took a sledgehammer to their own bureaucracies to expand access to care for those in need.

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Senator Blackburn: Democrats Are Working with Us to Pass COVID-19 Relief

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) shared that the current COVID-19 relief bill is a bipartisan effort closer to $1 trillion. The senator explained in a press conference Thursday that the move is favored by Democratic legislators over efforts by House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

“The good thing is that there are Democrats that have said to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer that they think it is wrong to hold out for a $3 trillion dollar deal, and saddle our future generations with that debt. So they’re working with some Republicans on a bill that is closer to a trillion dollars. So, the bill that we as a Republican conference had agreed on was about a $600 billion bill.”

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Blackburn Applauds Federal Taskforce to Improve Telehealth Access for Rural Americans

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is applauding a federal initiative to grow the availability of telehealth for rural areas.

The Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services and the U.S. Department Of Agriculture last week announced they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Rural Telehealth Initiative.

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Tennessee Lawmakers to Consider COVID-19 Liability Protection, Telehealth Bills in Special Session

Tennessee lawmakers will return to Nashville on August 10 for a special session to consider legislation to provide COVID-19-related liability protections for health care providers, businesses and schools.

Gov. Bill Lee signed a proclamation Monday afternoon calling for the legislative special session.

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Sen. Lamar Alexander: Make the Two Most Important COVID-19 Telehealth Policy Changes Permanent

U.S. Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) this week weighed in on the topic of telehealth.

Alexander said the government should permanently extend at least two of the most important temporary changes in federal policy made to help patients see doctors by phone or video during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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