Lucas Cosponsors Bipartisan CONNECT for Health Act

July 8, 2021
Press Release

Cheyenne, OK – Recently, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) cosponsored the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act, introduced by Representatives Mike Thompson (CA-05), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Bill Johnson (OH-06), Doris Matsui (CA-06) and Peter Welch (VT-AL). This bipartisan and bicameral comprehensive package expands the use of telehealth services, delivering cost effective and efficient care to patients. 

“Telehealth has demonstrated that cost-effective technologies can be utilized to expand health care access to Oklahoma’s rural and urban communities alike. While telehealth was widely used throughout the coronavirus pandemic, it’s long been an essential tool to connect patients efficiently and conveniently to their medical professionals,” said Congressman Lucas. “Oklahomans deserve access to innovative, affordable resources like telehealth, which is why I’m proud to cosponsor the CONNECT for Health Act. This bipartisan bill will build on the success of telehealth in states like Oklahoma and will help deliver better health care to Americans across the country.”

“Telehealth is a proven and cost-effective method of delivering health care to patients, especially those in rural or underserved areas. The Coronavirus pandemic has only further proven the efficacy of the practice. That’s why I am proud to join with my colleagues on the Telehealth Caucus to reintroduce the CONNECT Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to expand the use of telehealth,” said Congressman Thompson. “The CONNECT Act allows telehealth to be used to deliver mental health and emergency care and allowing new sites such as Federally-qualified health centers to deliver care through telehealth. I urge House and Senate leadership to move this bill quickly so we can better deliver health care for the American people.”

Specifically, the CONNECT for Health Act would waive telehealth restrictions during national emergencies, allow telehealth to be used to recertify patients as eligible for hospice benefits, work to prevent telehealth fraud and abuse, create reporting and analysis mechanisms, allow Native American health facilities to be used as originating sites for telehealth services, and help to improve testing for future telehealth models.

A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Wicker (R-Miss.), Cardin (D-Md.), Thune (R-S.D.), Warner (D-Va.), and Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.).

Read a one-page summary of the legislation here

Read text of the bill here