U.S. Senate introduces universal telehealth legislation

On August 4, 2020, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced the bipartisan Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act.

The Act provides “temporary licensing reciprocity for all practitioners or professionals, including those who treat both physical and mental health conditions, in all states for all types of services (in-person and telehealth) during the COVID-19 response and for future national emergencies.” See Senator Murphy’s press release here.

The University of Oregon has endorsed the bill, as the proposed temporary licensure would allow students to access campus mental health resources from anywhere in the U.S. That flexibility is needed for students who take classes remotely due to the pandemic. Under current law, each state licenses professionals and, in some cases, has reciprocity with other states to recognize another state’s standards.

On August 5, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and fellow governors in Washington, Colorado, and Nevada announced that they will work together on telehealth issues.

The UO Counseling Center COVID-19 update webpage indicates that students in Oregon, Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington have access to teletherapy services.

For more information about options for mental health support, call the Counseling Center at 541-346-3227.