NEW YORK, NY –– New Yorkers for 5G, a statewide coalition dedicated to educating elected officials, policy makers and members of the public about the need for next-generation connectivity, today hailed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that he will propose legislation to improve access to telehealth in his 2021 State of the State address. 

 Telehealth visits have increased more than 150 percent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virtual consultations continue to be popular even as restrictions to in-person visits with medical providers have been lifted, and 65 percent of Americans say they plan to continue to use telehealth in the future.

It is critical to improving the health of all New Yorkers – but especially those in historically underserved and rural communities – that roadblocks preventing access to this important healthcare tool be removed, and the Governor’s plan will go a long way toward achieving that goal.

“Telehealth has played an essential role in providing uninterrupted, safe and effective care during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks in large part to emergency flexibilities granted by Gov. Cuomo and our healthcare providers’ rapid actions to scale up these services,” said Bea Grause, RN, JD, president, Healthcare Association of New York State. “HANYS has long advocated for greater telehealth flexibility, and we are pleased Gov. Cuomo has pledged to permanently expand access to telehealth for all New Yorkers. These key reforms and continued investments will remove barriers to care, support providers’ continued ramp-up of telehealth offerings and improve patient outcomes. We thank Gov. Cuomo for his commitment to ‘push telehealth to the next level’ in New York state.” 

“Improving access to medical services is an important component of addressing longstanding inequities in our healthcare system and ensuring that vulnerable communities receive the kind of attention they need and deserve,” said New Yorkers for 5G spokesperson Caitlin Brookner. “Telehealth has proven enormously successful in expanding access to healthcare and the Governor is right in recognizing that steps must be taken to improve affordability for all.”

Fast, reliable and widespread online access is crucial to the success of telehealth, as medical professionals and patients must be able to communicate clearly and accurately in real-time. In addition, improved connectivity is necessary to facilitate the secure transfer of large amounts of medical data and can also enable doctors, nurses, therapists and others to receive information from patients’ wearable devices that can monitor blood pressure, oxygen levels, heart rate and more. New Yorkers for 5G looks forward to seeing the details of the Governor’s telehealth plan as well as efforts to encourage the infrastructure investment necessary to speed next-generation connectivity in all corners of the state.


New Yorkers for 5G was formed to educate residents, businesses, and decision makers about the importance of next-generation connectivity and advocate for policies that facilitate its success around the state. Its members represent a diverse array of businesses, organizations and individuals from every corner of the Empire State.

Media Contact:
Caitlin Brookner
(202) 550-3374