Expanded telehealth services are ‘here to stay’ in Virginia as public health emergency ends
As the federal public health emergency spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic expires this May, so will waivers that expanded the amount of health care services patients can access through telehealth.
But Virginia officials say most of the services the waivers allowed, such as being able to have virtual appointments instead of in-person visits at a provider’s office, have been signed into state law and are here to stay for both Medicaid enrollees and those with commercial insurance.
“Virginia really stepped up – the General Assembly codified many of the waivers that were put in place early on in the public health emergency,” said Dr. Karen Rheuban, director and co-founder of the University of Virginia Center for Telemedicine and a decades-long advocate for expanding access to virtual health care. When the public health emergency expires on May 11, she said, Virginia “won’t fall off the telemedicine cliff.”
Telehealth is an umbrella term for a broad spectrum of health care tools and services. That includes…