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Gianforte Announces Telehealth Expansion During Coronavirus Outbreak

March 17, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) today announced the Trump administration will expand telehealth services to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Too often, Montanans in our rural and frontier communities face challenges accessing a doctor or specialist. During this public health crisis, consulting your doctor remotely is critical,” Gianforte said. “I appreciate the Trump administration’s efforts to break down regulatory barriers and ensure Montana providers and patients have more tools to increase access to care, particularly during this challenging time.”

Yesterday, Gianforte held a call with over 50 Montana health care providers. Gianforte asked what resources they need, and many noted the urgent need for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide guidance on expanding telehealth.

Health professionals specifically cited a provision in the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, which Gianforte voted for, that provides a waiver on restrictions on telehealth services reimbursement for Medicare. Providers expressed concern they had not received guidance from CMS.

Today, CMS provided the telehealth guidance Montana doctors, clinicians, and health administrators have been expecting. Under the guidance Medicare will pay for telehealth services clinicians provide Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of a beneficiary’s point of service.

Gianforte has been working in Congress to expand telehealth services throughout the United States.

In February, Gianforte introduced legislation to expand telehealth services throughout the country with Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.), chair of the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Their bipartisan National Telehealth Strategy and Data Advancement Act will increase access to care, reduce health care costs, collect critical information to improve policymaking, and streamline the administration of federal grants for researching the use of technology in health care.