Johnson Calls for Permanent Access to Telehealth

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6, wants Congress “to make access to telehealth permanent for the American people.”

Johnson sits on the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Commission and questioned Drs. Anthony S. Fauci, Robert R. Redfield and Admiral Brett P. Giroir during their appearance yesterday before the panel.

At the hearing, Giroir said in “the week of January 15, 2020, there were only 500 telehealth visits by Medicare. The week of April 15, 2020, there were 150,000 of them.”

This is proof that cutting back Washington red tape really does make a difference, the congressman said in a statement released by his office.

“I have been encouraged to see President Trump and his administration work hard to respond to the chaos that coronavirus has created, including using the emergency authority Congress gave them to remove regulations and red tape that hindered the robust deployment of telehealth. As a result, countless vulnerable Americans now have access to their doctors from the safety of their homes, ensuring convenience and continuity for essential medical care,” Johnson said.

The pandemic isolated individuals and made them unable to receive health care, he noted.

“In eastern and southeastern Ohio and across parts of rural America, this can be the reality even in normal times. Increasing the access to telehealth, which has long been a priority of mine, is a realistic way to solve this problem,” Johnson said.

“I’ve heard from patient after patient and provider after provider who’ve taken advantage of these safe new telehealth services. They love the convenience and immediate access that telehealth services provide. They tell me they do not want to go back to the way it was before. It’s time for Congress to make access to telehealth permanent for the American people,” he said.

Image via U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson’s Facebook page.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.