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Telehealth Waivers and Flexibilities

Dear Congressman/Senator:

I write to urge Congress to keep telehealth flexibilities and waivers in place following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).

The flexibilities provided by Congress and the Administration for telehealth coverage and payment have enabled group practices and our patients to experience the benefits of telehealth. Beyond aiding our COVID-19 response, telehealth offers a long-term promise of expanding access to quality care in the future, particularly to individuals with limited access to services, vulnerable patient populations, and elderly patients who have difficulty traveling. 

The current flexibilities are limited to the PHE; once that’s lifted, access to telehealth will be significantly limited with the push of a button. Practices like mine have embraced telehealth changes; we’ve made investments in necessary tools, workforce training, and modifications to clinical/operational workflows. Without further congressional action to extend access to telehealth beyond the public health emergency, our progress will come to a halt and we will be forced to roll back these efforts immediately. It is imperative that progress made since March, when the waivers were enacted, continues when the PHE ends. By keeping these flexibilities in place, our country will be better prepared to treat patients during the next pandemic or emergency event.

Therefore, I urge Congress to make these flexibilities permanent through legislation, particularly those relating to originating sites, which require that patients be located at certain clinical sites of service in rural geographic areas. At a minimum, I urge you to maintain these telehealth waivers and flexibilities for at least one year following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, to allow sufficient time for legislation to be enacted and notice and comment rulemaking to occur. 

Thank you for considering these recommendations that will make a critical difference in delivering patient care.


Robert Hendler

Cardiac Specialists

1305 Post Rd

Fairfield, CT  06824-6016