Q&A: How the PHE's end could affect telehealth, patient care

Q&A: How the PHE's end could affect telehealth, patient care

Heather Meade, principal at Washington Council Ernst & Young, discusses the potential effects on digital health companies and patients following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Early in 2020, a public health emergency was proclaimed, and as a result, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted waivers to hospitals and other providers to lessen the burden of the epidemic. Since its installation, it has been postponed 12 times; it will ultimately expire on May 11. In an interview with MobiHealthNews, Heather Meade, principal at Washington Council Ernst & Young, discussed how the PHE's expiration would affect the funding sources for telemedicine companies and patients' access to care. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the PHE ending, particularly for telehealth, asks MobiHealthNews? Meade: I mean, these regions require ongoing policy. In some ways, it's been the silver lining for the country, right? Telehealth is constantly mentioned when legislative leaders on Capitol Hill discuss the effects of the pandemic that they would like to maintain. And in my opinion, it does provide Congress the chance to have a sincere discussion about the possibility of telehealth being maintained permanently as well as what it might entail. And I believe it's always beneficial for us to have a constructive public discussion about those topics. The learning curve for politicians can be rather high at times, and doing all that everyone would want to accomplish is challenging, especially in current nonpartisan and budget-constrained context.

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