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Telehealth use by Medicare patients has skyrocketed amid regulatory flexibilities, increasing 63-fold between 2019 and 2020.

Telehealth flexibilities created during the pandemic would be extended for five months as part of the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill that Congress passed on Thursday evening. The legislation awaits President Biden’s signature.

“We commend legislators for including critical telehealth extensions in this must-pass legislation, ensuring that patients do not fall off a ‘telehealth cliff’ immediately after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends,” said Kyle Zebley, vice president, public policy, of the American Telemedicine Association.

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