Accessible health care

August 7, 2020

Contact: Katie Webster (202 225 5315)

How can we create easier and better access to health care? I've had conversations with doctors, nurses, patients, housing authorities, hospital staff, nursing homes, senior care facilities, and all have told me a similar story: telehealth increases access to quality care for Hoosiers who either live far from a hospital or don't have reliable transportation. It helps eliminate stress or worry of missing an entire day of work to travel to the nearest hospital or finding reliable transportation. While telehealth cannot replace all in-person medical visits, it is an important aspect of making healthcare more accessible and affordable.You can access your appointment from the comfort of your own home.

Communities around the country have recognized the benefits of telehealth, which is why the Trump Administration recently signed an Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access. Take a look:

What does the Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access do?
  • Increase access to, improve the quality of, and improve the financial economics of rural healthcare, including by increasing access to high-quality care through telehealth.
  • Implement new flexibility regarding what services may be provided via telehealth, who may provide them, and in what circumstances, and the use of telehealth increased dramatically across the nation.
How does it help seniors on Medicare?

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump Administration extended Medicare benefits to telehealth services to protect seniors from entering hospitals or care facilities and contracting coronavirus. This Executive Order makes this extension permanent, making it easier for seniors on Medicare to access their care virtually.

How does it help Hoosiers in rural areas?

Americans in rural communities live on average twice as far from a hospital than those in urban areas. Telehealth helps bridge this gap by allowing you to speak to a doctor or check in with your care provider without spending time traveling to and from the appointment.

This Executive Order encourages policy initiatives to:
  • Increase rural access to health care by eliminating regulatory burdens that limit the availability of clinical professionals.
  • Prevent disease and mortality by developing rural-specific efforts to drive improved health outcomes.
  • Improve mental health care.
What about rural broadband capabilities?

Ensuring strong and reliable internet access for all is something I'm fighting for in Congress everyday, both through legislation and local grants. I recently sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury calling on our federal government to allow funding through the CARES Act to be used for broadband expansion. Access to strong and capable internet is a key piece to successful telehealth programs. This letter builds on funds already provided to Indiana through the CARES Act, which I was proud to support and elated to see invested in our communities.

Your zip code should not determine your health care. I look forward to working with leaders here in Indiana, in Congress, and the Administration on telehealth capabilities to connect you with the care you need.

Be of good cheer,

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