LeadingAge Statement on Introduction of the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act

PRESS RELEASE | October 23, 2020 | by Lisa Sanders

Contact: Lisa Sanders
lsanders@leadingage.org 202-508-9407

October 23, 2020 Washington, DC — Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge and Acting President/CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association/ElevatingHOME:

“Throughout the pandemic, home health agencies have faced difficulty providing care to people in their homes due to concerns over the risk of virus transmission and contagion. Using telehealth offers the possibility of overcoming at least some of these challenges in order to deliver care to Medicare beneficiaries. Under current law, however, Medicare cannot reimburse home health agencies for delivering care through technology.

Despite this significant limitation, countless home health agencies have continued to offer care via telehealth even though in doing so they forfeit adequate reimbursement.

The Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act would provide home health agencies the ability to receive reimbursement for providing telehealth visits with appropriate protections for patients and families. The HEAT Act would put home health agencies on par with all other health care providers with regards to flexibility during the ongoing and future public health emergencies which is critically important for the older adults and those home health agencies who serve them.

LeadingAge and our partners the Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) and ElevatingHOME thank the sponsors, Senators Collins and Cardin and Representatives Marshall, Sewell, Arrington, and Thompson, for all of their work and partnership on this important legislation.”

Click on this link to read the press release, “Collins, Cardin Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Access to Home Health Care Furnished by Telehealth Amid Public Health Emergencies.”

About LeadingAge:

We represent more than 5,000 aging-focused organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we address critical issues by blending applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building. We bring together the most inventive minds in our field to support older adults as they age wherever they call home. We make America a better place to grow old. For more information: www.leadingage.org.