Jun 21 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis recently co-introduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, bipartisan legislation that will expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make permanent telehealth flexibilities, improve health outcomes, and make it easier for patients to connect with their doctors.

“Over the last few years, the broad utilization of telehealth services has highlighted the invaluable role it can play in making patient-centered health care more accessible,” said Senator Tillis. "I am proud to support the re-introduction of this commonsense legislation to modernize our health care system and improve outcomes for all North Carolinians.”

Three provisions from the CONNECT for Health Act were signed into law in 2020. Data shows that telehealth provides essential access to care with nearly a quarter of Americans accessing telehealth in the past month. The updated version of the CONNECT for Health Act builds on that progress and includes new and revised provisions that will help more people access telehealth services. Specifically, the legislation would:  

  • Permanently remove all geographic restrictions on telehealth services and expand originating sites to include the home and other sites;
  • Permanently allow health centers and rural health clinics to provide telehealth services;
  • Allow more eligible health care professionals to utilize telehealth services;
  • Remove unnecessary in-person visit requirement for telemental health services;
  • Allow for the waiver of telehealth restrictions during public health emergencies; and
  • Require more published data to learn more about how telehealth is being used, impacts of quality of care, and how it can be improved to support patients and health care providers.

The CONNECT for Health Act has the support of more than 150 organizations including AARP, America’s Essential Hospitals, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Medical Group Association, American Nurses Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Telemedicine Association, Consumer Technology Association, Duke Health, Federation of American Hospitals, HIMSS, Kaiser Permanente, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Association of Community Health Centers, National Quality Forum, National Association of Rural Health Clinics, National Rural Health Association, and Teladoc Health. 

A summary of the bill and the full list of endorsing organizations are available here.

The full text of the bill is available here.