APA Experts Urge Congress to Continue Relaxed Telehealth Regulations Post-Pandemic
During a virtual congressional briefing last month, APA President Jeffrey Geller, M.D., M.P.H., and members of APA’s Committee on Telepsychiatry emphasized the need for expanded access to mental health care through telehealth not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but afterward as well.
The briefing, titled “Collective Crisis: Preparing for America’s Next Wave of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Needs With Telehealth,” was hosted by APA and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The panel included Peter Yellowlees, M.B.B.S., M.D., a professor of psychiatry and chief wellness officer at UC Davis; Shabana Khan, M.D., director of telemedicine for the Child Psychiatry Department at NYU Langone Health; and Jodi Kwarciany, manager of mental health policy at NAMI.
Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) also made remarks during the briefing. Johnson is one of the sponsors of the CONNECT Act (HR 4932), which would expand access to telehealth services for mental health treatment. Tonko recently worked on a bipartisan letter to House and Senate leaders asking them to extend tele-mental health services beyond the COVID-19 emergency.
Author: Katie O’Conner
Published Online: June 11, 2020