UPH Government & External Affairs

Week Ending May 21, 2021 — Senate Finance Committee Discussed Flexibilities Beyond the Pandemic

by | May 24, 2021

The Finance Committee explored potential extension of waivers and flexibilities tied to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). During the hearing, witnesses and Senators recognized the critical role that telehealth has played during the PHE in advancing health equity, but consensus around which policies to make permanent remained elusive. Some Senators called for additional study of the impact of telehealth on quality, utilization and health care spending before making telehealth flexibilities permanent. In addition, many Senators were specifically supportive of the hospital-at-home waivers, which have been used during the pandemic to expand the healthcare delivery system by allowing acute care services typically provided in a hospital setting to be delivered in the patient’s home. Many existing flexibilities that are tied to the PHE will expire without Congressional action, however, and the legislative path forward from here remains murky.