Statement of ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray on Ensuring Parity in MA and PACE for Audio-Only Telehealth Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2021
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Van Ness, (202) 204-7515, email@example.com
STATEMENT OF ACAP CEO MARGARET A. MURRAY ON
ENSURING PARITY IN MA AND PACE FOR AUDIO-ONLY TELEHEALTH ACT
WASHINGTON— Margaret A. Murray, Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP), released the following statement today on S. 150 and H.R. 2166, the Ensuring Parity in MA and PACE for Audio-Only Telehealth Act, bipartisan legislation aimed at helping to ensure Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollees who cannot access the video component during telehealth visits are able to access care through audio visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The respective bills were introduced by Senator Cortez-Masto of Nevada and Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama.
“ACAP is proud to support this bill. It recognizes that not everyone can easily access video telehealth services owing to access and connectivity issues; granting parity for audio-only encounters, especially where risk adjustment is concerned, will help assure access to care delivered remotely – especially for dually eligible beneficiaries and for other people with low incomes.
“We strongly support providing CMS extra flexibility to permit greater use of telehealth, now and in the future. Because some of our member Safety Net Health Plans run Special Needs Plans or Medicare-Medicaid Plans where a majority of their enrollees are unable to utilize visual telemedicine encounters owing to access and connectivity issues, we strongly believe that video shouldn’t be a precondition for a virtual visit to count towards risk-adjusted payments.
“We applaud the leadership of Sen. Cortez-Masto and Rep. Sewell and the bipartisan cosponsors of each bill. We call upon Congress to promptly pass this legislation, send it President Biden for his signature, and consider ways to extend it beyond the conclusion of the public health emergency so our seniors can benefit from this common-sense solution not just now, but into the future.”
ACAP represents 78 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.
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