Virtual doctor appointment At the beginning of the pandemic, Congress granted temporary emergency waivers designed to ensure access to telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries. (Photo: fizkes/

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the rise of telehealth medicine, which in turn has highlighted the urgency of updating Medicare coverage rules for such services.

To that end, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) are co-sponsoring the “Telehealth Modernization Act” — bipartisan legislation that would update coverage restrictions that have long prevented the nation’s 61 million Medicare beneficiaries from accessing life-saving telehealth services.

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