Press Releases

Hern, Lee lead colleagues in introducing Behavioral Health Accessibility Act of 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01), Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) introduced the Behavioral Health Accessibility Act of 2024. The legislation would remove the in-person requirements for behavioral health services delivered via telehealth.

“We learned a lot during the pandemic, and one of the big lessons is that telehealth services drastically increase access to care for all communities,” said Rep. Hern. “It's evident that maintaining in-person requirements for telebehavioral health visits is hindering access to care. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan effort with my colleagues to eliminate these barriers to ensure all Americans have equal access to vital mental health services."

“Millions of families rely on telehealth services to access the care they need. We should be making it easier, not harder, for families to use this critical health care tool," said Congresswoman Susie Lee. “In-person requirements for behavioral telehealth visits pose a serious obstacle to rural communities that rely on this service. Instead of taking an avoidable step backward, it's time to take a strong step forward with this bipartisan legislation. Nevadans, and all Americans, should have every tool they need to access the health care services they rely on."

“There should not be any overly burdensome regulations standing in the way of patients receiving access to mental health services in our country,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the bipartisan Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Taskforce. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan legislation that would eliminate the in-person requirements for Medicare recipients receiving care via telehealth. This will ensure that vulnerable communities and those living without adequate mental health services nearby can access the care they deserve.”

“The utilization of telehealth services has only increased since the pandemic, and now, in a post-pandemic world where more than 20% of Americans are battling mental health issues, we should be doing everything we can to continue expanding access to this critical care,” Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing bipartisan legislation that removes in-person evaluation requirements for behavioral telehealth services so patients can receive care more efficiently, regardless of their physical location.”

Bill text can be found here.