What kind of healthcare reforms can we expect from the 118th Congress? The outlook is a bit cloudy.
At long last, Congress will likely turn its attention to things other than COVID-19. But Democrats have lost their legislative trifecta and will have to work with a House narrowly controlled by Republicans.
But if lawmakers are interested in actually improving the nation’s healthcare system, there are several reforms that can command bipartisan support.
Let’s start with expanded access to telehealth. One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic was the embrace of telemedicine by patients, providers, and payers alike. To ensure patients had access to vital health services while they were encouraged to stay home, federal and state authorities gave doctors more leeway on what services they could offer virtually. Medicare expanded reimbursement for telehealth procedures. As a result, telehealth use among Medicare enrollees increased 63-fold during the pandemic.