Democratic Lawmaker Calls Telehealth Expansion the 'Silver Lining' of Pandemic


Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said the COVID-19 pandemic has opened the door to widespread adoption of remote health care.  “Telehealth has become the silver lining of the pandemic,” Matsui said at The Hill’s “COVID-19: The Way Forward” event.  The California Democrat, who sits on health and technology subcommittees as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, highlighted the benefits of telehealth, from minimizing the risk of transmission between patient and provider to resolving transportation issues and language barriers.  Dr. Carrie Byington, executive vice president of University of California Health who spoke at the event sponsored by Association of American Medical Colleges, said telehealth is crucial to reaching communities that don’t have adequate access to doctors.  Before the pandemic, she said, the university’s medical system saw about 500 virtual care visits per month. That number is now 200,000, having expanded to areas like New York City and the Navajo nation.

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