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Legislation Introduced That Would Expand Telehealth and Virtual Services in Nursing Facilities

April 14, 2020

Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Representative Peter King (R-NY) have introduced the bipartisan Advancing Connectivity during the Coronavirus to Ensure Support for Seniors (ACCESS) Act. This legislation would help ensure that federal funding is available to expand telehealth and virtual services at nursing facilities so individuals can stay connected to their health care providers and communities when in-person visits are limited during the pandemic. The ACCESS Act would:

  • Authorize an emergency supplemental appropriation of $50 million for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Telehealth Resource Center to assist nursing facilities receiving funding through Medicare or Medicaid in expanding their use of telehealth services;
  • Require the Secretary of HHS to share recommendations on additional ways to improve access to telehealth services in nursing facilities and temporarily designated nursing facilities during the pandemic; and
  • Establish a grant program authorizing HHS to award nursing facilities grants to nursing facilities to enable residents to participate in “virtual visits” with loved ones while the health risk of in-person visits remains high during the pandemic.

Consumer Voice, along with AARP, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging and the Long Term Care Community Coalition, endorsed this legislation. Learn more in Rep. Schakowsky's press release »

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