Category: Health and Human Services

Why Telehealth Coverage Mandates Can’t Reverse Course

The implications of pulling back access to virtual care now would be nothing less than significant. The broad mandates that expanded telehealth coverage for Medicare and Medicaid recipients due to the COVID-19 pandemic are proving their worth. Many patients who typically didn’t have ready (or sometimes any) access to this type...

CMS Proposes Significant Changes to Remote Patient Monitoring Coverage

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has clarified how providers can use telehealth and mHealth to establish and run remote patient monitoring programs, with changes that some feel could hinder care at home. The federal government is clarifying how it regulates remote patient monitoring, with changes that could...

HHS, FCC and USDA launch joint rural telehealth initiative: 3 details

HHS, FCC and USDA on Sept. 1 signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on efforts to improve telehealth services and address health disparities in rural areas. The Rural Telehealth Initiative ultimately aims to use telehealth to supplement gaps in the healthcare system for rural Americans, who have been impacted by...

Medicare Telehealth Coverage and Reimbursement After the Public Health Emergency

Over the past five months, Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have dramatically, but temporarily, expanded coverage and reimbursement for telehealth services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes are in effect for the duration of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Public Health...

CMS Proposes Telehealth Updates to the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On August 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) updates for the 2021 calendar year, addressing among other policy changes how CMS will treat telehealth codes for the duration of and following the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Background: CMS’ Process...

FAQs on Telehealth and HIPAA during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency

What is telehealth?The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote long-distance clinical health care, patient andprofessional health-related education, and public health and healthadministration. Technologies include videoconferencing,...

HHS partners with FCC and USDA on rural telehealth initiative

Telehealth plays an increasingly critical part in treating patients, improving health outcomes and lowering costs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work together on the Rural Telehealth Initiative, a joint effort to collaborate...

CMS Advancing Seniors Access to Cutting-edge Therapies and Technology in Medicare Hospital Rule

Finalized policy changes expand new technology add-on payment pathway for certain antimicrobials On September 2, CMS issued the FY 2021 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) final rule, which includes important provisions designed to ensure access to potentially life-saving diagnostics and therapies...

CMS Proposes Telehealth Updates to the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On August 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) updates for the 2021 calendar year, addressing among other policy changes how CMS will treat telehealth codes for the duration of and following the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Background: CMS’ Process...

Telecare for All

Physician shortages, socioeconomic barriers, and high uninsured rates—these challenges perpetuate the lack of access to health care for the 60 million residents of rural communities across the United States. To combat the scarcity of medical services in rural areas, federal and state governments are implementing regulations that promote the use of...

Central Maine Healthcare CMIO: ‘Telehealth Reimbursement Can’t Go Back to Pre-COVID Status’

Steven Martel, M.D., CMIO at Central Maine Healthcare, describes his organization’s journey into telehealth during the pandemic, and what needs to happen for usage rates to remain high going forward. It’s been very well-documented that COVID-19 has forced patient care organizations to turn to alternative ways to provide care while limiting...

Federal Government Announces Rural Telehealth Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on the Rural Telehealth Initiative, a joint effort to collaborate and share information to address health disparities,...

HHS Plan to Improve Rural Health Focuses on Better Broadband, Telehealth Services

Knowing it may be met with some skepticism, the Trump administration Thursday announced a sweeping plan that officials say will transform health care in rural America. Even before the coronavirus pandemic reached into the nation’s less-populated regions, rural Americans were sicker, poorer and older than the rest of the...

How to make telehealth more permanent after COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak, or COVID-19, has fundamentally transformed our lives and communities, contributing to economic declines, disruptions in schooling, and distressed hospital systems. However, the pandemic has generated some silver linings, including the widespread adoption of telehealth that has helped to mitigate the risk of community spread by reducing...
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