Why medical students are Outside to cut telehealth’s red tape – American Medical Association


On March 4, a set of 900-plus medical students from 47 graduate states and Puerto Rico will work together in an effort to form the future of healthcare during the Medical Student Advocacy Conference.

In virtual Capitol Hill visit meetings scheduled with over 250 members of Congress, medical students hope to concentrate their advocacy on some key problems. Reilly Bealer is a rising third-year medical student at the Elson Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University who is taking a year away from her clinical studies functioning as the AMA Government Relations Advocacy Fellow (GRAF). She offered some insight about what those problems are and why they are crucial to creating a healthier state.

The problem: Telehealth providers are instrumental in care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided critical flexibility in telehealth provisions by waiving the geographic origination requirement for the whole period of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this restriction will snap back into position abruptly whenever the emergency declaration finishes unless Congress acts first.

What Congress can do: Step in and eliminate limitations on where telehealth technologies may be utilized so Medicare can cover and cover for telehealth services to beneficiaries any place in the nation and to any place.

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“This may eliminate obstacles which can exacerbate inequities where patients need to drive or find other transport to get certain care that they could otherwise get in the home, thus protecting these sufferers, many of which are at greater risk for poor health consequences from COVID-19, from unnecessary exposure to infectious pathogens”

Check out this great advice on the best way best to become involved with advocacy as a medical student.

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