Kuster Questions Health Care Experts on Expanding Access to Telehealth, Including Treatment for Addiction and Mental Health Care
Washington, March 2, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee and House Rural Broadband Task Force, participated in a Subcommittee hearing entitled, "The Future of Telehealth: How COVID-19 is Changing the Delivery of Virtual Care." The Health Subcommittee heard from health care experts about the state and utilization of telehealth in the United States and the prospect of expanding services beyond COVID-19.
“Telehealth services have been a lifeline to people during the COVID-19 pandemic — especially those who suffer from substance use disorder and addiction — and we have the opportunity to make a real difference for patients by expanding virtual care options,” said Rep. Kuster. “Even before this public health crisis, attending in-person appointments for treatment of substance use disorder and other health needs could be a challenge in and of itself — especially for residents of rural communities in New Hampshire — simply due to weather, geography, lack of access to transportation, work obligations, or limited child care options.”
“In the past year, our behavioral health providers have transformed their delivery of care to ensure they could continue to offer critical treatment while this country battles two epidemics: the opioid crisis and COVID-19,” Rep. Kuster continued. “I was pleased to hear from health care experts in the Subcommittee hearing today about these measures and the potential framework they provide as we look ahead to expanding access to quality care through telehealth. In Congress and through my role on the Energy and Commerce Committee, I will continue working to advance this progress after the coronavirus public health crisis to ensure all patients have access to the care they need.”
Witnesses at today’s Subcommittee hearing included:
Megan R. Mahoney, M.D.
Chief of Staff, Stanford Health Care
Ateev Mehrotra, M.D., M.P.H
Associate Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
President and CEO, Purchaser Business Group on Health
Jack Resneck, Jr., M.D.
Board of Trustees, American Medical Association
President, Medicare Rights Center
Rep. Kuster has been a leader in Congress for expanding access to high-speed broadband, especially in our rural communities. She served on the House Rural Broadband Task Force in the 116th Congress and advanced critical legislation to help millions of students, families, and unemployed workers afford the internet service they need during the pandemic. Kuster was reappointed to the Task Force for the 117th Congress. Last year, Rep. Kuster introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to increase access and use of telehealth services in skilled nursing facilities. Kuster is also the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force.