In this April 22, 2020, file photo, Margo Jarvis takes part in video teleconference at Cohen Veteran's Network's in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Credit: Sarah Blake Morgan / AP

Maine’s senators are joining a push to make the use of telehealth easier as the country moves beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King said the use of telehealth among Medicare beneficiaries increased dramatically during the pandemic. They want to expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare and make COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities permanent.

The senators are supporting a proposal called the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies for Health Act of 2021. It’s also called the CONNECT Act.

Collins said the changes would allow Maine seniors to “continue to take advantage of remote home health care amid the COVID-19 public health emergency and beyond.”

The proposal would also permanently remove geographic restrictions on telehealth services, the senators said. It would also allow health centers and rural health clinics to provide telehealth services, they said.

Story by Patrick Whittle.