Senator’s Telemental Health Care Access Act eliminates Medicare barriers, expanding access to mental health services provided through telehealth
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Telemental Health Care Access Act – bipartisan legislation expanding access to mental health services by eliminating certain Medicare coverage restrictions.
“Access to mental health services through telehealth has proven useful and effective. We’re eliminating certain Medicare coverage restrictions to ensure beneficiaries get the mental health access they need,” said Sinema.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how telehealth services have improved access to care by temporarily waiving limitations patients and providers often face, especially in rural areas where broadband and video connections can be difficult. With an already-growing mental health crisis, there are too few providers available to meet the needs of an increasing patient population. Sinema’s bipartisan Telemental Health Care Access Act increases access to mental health services by eliminating the Medicare requirement for beneficiaries to be seen by a medical professional in-person within six months of being treated for mental health services through telehealth.
This bipartisan legislation is part of Sinema’s work to increase access to mental health and telehealth services. This Congress, Sinema has cosponsored similar bills, such as the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, the Telehealth Modernization Act, Protecting Rural Telehealth Access Act, and the Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act.