People throughout North Carolina and throughout the country have benefited from telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect telehealth to remain essential for individuals who can’t make in-person visits for various reasons (ongoing health challenges, lack of transportation, work commitments, child care needs, etc.). With this in mind, NAMI NC urges Congress to support the following bipartisan legislation:
1. The Permanency for Audio-Only Telehealth Act (H.R. 3447), which would continue to allow Medicare to cover mental and behavioral health services provided via audio-only telehealth;
2. The Telemental Health Care Access Act (S. 2061), which would remove a requirement that Medicare beneficiaries receiving services via telehealth have been seen in person by their provider within the prior 6 months; and
3. The Telemental Health Care Access Act (H.R. 4058), which—in addition to removing the requirement for an in-person visit described above—would extend certain Medicare coverage flexibilities to behavioral health services.
H.R. 3447 and H.R. 4058 in the House and S. 2061 in the Senate will have better odds of getting passed if legislators hear from their constituents. Please use this link to find your elected Federal representatives and tell them why you think telehealth is so critical and why these bills can do so much good. A polite and heartfelt message–in writing, via email, or on the phone—will be most effective.