Members of Congress Urge Congressional Leadership to Fix RHC Telehealth Issues




Washington D.C. ~ Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Representative Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) sent a bipartisan letter today to Congressional leadership urging them to adopt a solution for RHCs and FQHCs regarding telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. NARHC worked closely with Representative Smith and Representative O’Halleran on this effort. You can read the full letter below or by clicking here.

While Congress and the Administration moved aggressively to expand telehealth services to Medicare patients in response to the pandemic, RHCs and FQHCs are currently not allowed to provide telehealth visits as the distant site provider. NARHC is hopeful and confident that this issue will be resolved when “phase 3” of the COVID-19 legislation is passed in the near future.

However, the first draft of the legislation contains a solution that would pay RHCs a “composite” amount per telehealth visit to be determined by the Department of Health and Human Services based on comparable services on the physician fee schedule. While this solution is certainly better than current policy, the initial draft language is not our preferred way of addressing the issue, which is to allow RHCs to receive their full all-inclusive rate for a telehealth visit with a Medicare patient.

Thankfully, our champions on Capitol Hill are advocating for a proper fix to this issue. We want to thank all the Representatives who signed the letter and we encourage all RHCs to reach out to their Members of Congress to advocate for a proper fix to the distant site issue.

Nathan Baugh
Director of Government Affairs
National Association of Rural Health Clinics
1009 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22313
(202) 543-0348