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Hassan, Shaheen, support expansion of telehealth services

May 3, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill supported by U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire would expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare and permanently remove geographic restrictions on them.

The bill also would require a study to learn more about how telehealth has been used during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m glad to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to permanently expand telehealth options and in turn get more patients, especially in rural communities, the care that they are counting on,” Hassan said in a statement Monday.

The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies for Health Act would allow health centers and rural health clinics to provide telehealth services, a provision currently in place because of the pandemic, but on a temporary basis. It also would allow for the waiver of telehealth restrictions during public health emergencies.

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Hassan and Shaheen joined with U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, a fellow Democrat from Hawaii, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Republican from Mississippi, and others in introducing the bill.

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THE NUMBERS

More than 95,000 people have tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, including 161 cases announced Monday. No no deaths were announced; the total remained at 1,305.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire decreased over the past two weeks, going from 390 new cases per day on April 17 to 222 new cases per day on Saturday.