Bipartisan resolution will raise awareness, help more Americans learn about accessing care through telehealth
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), along with Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), introduced this week a bipartisan resolution to support the designation of September 19-25 as “Telehealth Awareness Week.” The resolution recognizes that telehealth has helped millions of patients access quality health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it will continue to be essential beyond the public health emergency.
“Telehealth services have been essential tools, and a lifeline for many, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It has bridged the gap for Marylanders and other individuals facing barriers to care, helping to address health disparities,” said Senator Cardin. “As we confront the delta variant, telehealth will continue to play a vital role for individuals to access care without the risk of infection.”
“Telehealth makes it possible for more people to safely get the care they need, where and when they need it,” said Senator Schatz. “This is an opportunity for Congress to demonstrate its broad, bipartisan support for telehealth and help more people learn how to access these important services.”
“Telehealth services have brought quality health care to more Americans in more places during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Wicker said. “This Telehealth Awareness Week, I am glad to join my colleagues to celebrate the importance of telehealth and commit to making these services available to more Americans permanently.”
The resolution recognizes the bipartisan support in Congress for telehealth and encourages expanded access to telehealth services for all individuals, including members of rural and underserved communities. It concludes that “Telehealth Awareness Week” will unite the efforts of patients, caregivers, health care providers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to advance the role of telehealth in health care.
In addition to Senators Cardin, Schatz and Wicker, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss).
Senator Cardin has led efforts on the Senate Finance Committee to expand access to telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries. Several of his policies have passed into law, including allowing patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to receive telehealth services in their home.
Earlier this year, the senators reintroduced the CONNECT for Health Act, the most comprehensive bipartisan telehealth bill in Congress.
To read the full resolution, click here.