'A disaster scenario': Payers, providers urge Congress to extend HDHP telehealth flexibilities as expiration looms 

The Connected Health Initiative, a coalition of medical groups, payers, universities and technology companies, wrote to congressional leaders Nov. 28 urging them to extend telehealth coverage for people with high deductible health plans before they hit their deductible, a policy that expires at the end of this year.

"If Congress does not act before this deadline, coverage of services furnished using basic, widely available live audio and video technology will be as limited as it was before the pandemic, a disaster scenario for American patients and caregivers," the letter shared with Becker's said.

As Congress works to ensure telehealth flexibilities under Medicare, CHI is asking the government to "extend the safe harbor for HDHPs to cover telehealth and other remote care services with first-dollar coverage" for an additional two years. The group is also asking for more clarity around the definition of "other remote care services."

The Connected Health Initiative is led by its steering committee, which includes the American Medical Association, Apple, Cambia Health Solutions, George Washington University Hospital, GoodRX, Intel, Microsoft and UnitedHealth Group.

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