The Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act (S. 168/H.R. 708) is a critical, bipartisan piece of legislation that will allow any licensed health care provider in good standing to render services—including telehealth visits—in all states for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. AACI is asking cancer centers to reach out to their congressional delegations to urge them to co-sponsor and support the TREAT Act with a customizable advocacy letter.
For patients with cancer—who are often immunocompromised—telemedicine has become a lifeline. Some cancer centers have reported an up to 5,000-percent increase in telehealth visits during the pandemic.
On March 2, the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing titled The Future of Telehealth: How COVID-19 is Changing the Delivery of Virtual Care, which demonstrated strong bipartisan support of telemedicine as a permanent component of our health care infrastructure. While this is encouraging, immediate action is necessary to ensure that the flexibilities currently in place will remain for the duration of the pandemic and in any future national emergencies.
The TREAT Act offers a commonsense solution to address the patchwork of state licensure laws that prevent or delay clinicians from providing virtual and in-person care to patients across state lines. Telemedicine allows patients with cancer to access care when and where they need it most and limit unnecessary exposure for patients, caregivers, and health care providers.
AACI encourages you to contact your legislators and ask them to co-sponsor the TREAT Act.