APTQI Commends Introduction of Expanded Telehealth Access Act

Bipartisan legislation expands the list of the providers eligible for Medicare reimbursement for providing care via telehealth

Washington, D.C. –– The Alliance for Physical Therapy Quality and Innovation (APTQI) has expressed support for the newly-introduced Expanded Telehealth Access Act (H.R. 8755), introduced by Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), alongside 13 bipartisan original co-sponsors. The legislation specifically makes physical therapists, audiologists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists permanently eligible for telehealth reimbursement.

In response to the challenges of delivering and accessing care during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services enabled more Medicare providers to receive reimbursement for telehealth services, which APTQI has strongly supported and advocated for throughout the pandemic.

“Telehealth has been an incredibly valuable tool to physical, occupational and speech therapists navigating the challenges of reaching vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Nikesh Patel,  PT, Executive Director of APTQI. “We commend Representative Sherrill and her bipartisan colleagues in Congress to introducing this bill to make these vital telehealth reimbursement provisions permanent.”

APTQI advocates across the country have submitted thousands of individual letters to federal health officials and Congressional lawmakers urging for expanded beneficiary access to telehealth-based physical therapy services since the pandemic struck. The letters helped solidify national advocacy efforts undertaken by APTQI to achieve this much-needed and pressing policy change.

The bill’s original co-sponsors include Reps. David B. McKinley (R-WV-1), Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Denver Riggleman (R-VA-5), Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3), Andre Carson (D-IN-7), Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15), Andy Kim (D-NJ-3), Joseph Morelle (D-NY-25), Bobby Rush (D-IL-1), Albio Sires (D-NJ-8), Kevin Hern (R-OK-1), William Timmons, IV (R-SC-4), and Paul Tonko (D-NY-20).

The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees.

# # #