Category: Legislation

Congress Eyes Permanent Medicare Coverage for Telehealth from Therapists

A bill introduced this week would permanently extend Medicare coverage for telehealth services delivered by physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists and audiologists. By Eric Wicklund November 18, 2020 – A group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would ensure Medicare coverage for telehealth services provided by physical and...

Reps. Sherrill, McKinley Lead Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Access to Telehealth Services

Legislation expands practitioners eligible for Medicare reimbursement for telehealth services WASHINGTON, DC — Representatives Mike Sherrill (NJ-11), Rep. David McKinley (WV-01), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Rep. Denver Riggleman (VA-05), Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Rep. Andre Carson (IN-07), Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA-15), Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03), Rep. Joseph Morelle (NY-25), Rep....

Don’t Lose Focus on Your Compliance with Important COVID-19 Requirements

The HHS Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) published its intent to review some key measures the Federal government made in response to COVID-19. Those key measures include the Medicare program’s telehealth policy changes and oversight of funds disbursed to providers under the CARES Act and the Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”). While...

Here’s my tipsheet for pending telemedicine legislation

THE CHALLENGES presented by COVID-19 have resulted in unprecedented changes to healthcare systems nationwide. Before the pandemic, only 1 percent of all physician visits in the US were conducted via telehealth. That number spiked to almost 50 percent in just the first month of the public health emergency, according to...

Telehealth Update: Expansion of the Public Health Emergency, Telehealth Services for Home Health Beneficiaries, and a Special Event

mHealth, Telehealth Groups Lobby CMS for Better RPM Reimbursement
As COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise in areas of the country, telehealth continues to play an important role in the delivery of healthcare, especially to those most vulnerable to the virus.  The Public Health Emergency has officially been extended through January 23, 2021, which means that the majority...

FCC Opens Application Window for Connected Care Pilot Program

The three-year, $100 million program, aimed at boosting broadband connectivity in underserved parts of the country to support telehealth expansion, will accept applications for one month, beginning on November 6. By Eric Wicklund November 05, 2020 – The Federal Communications Commission is set to launch its Connected Care Pilot Program, a three-year, $100...

CMS Finalizes Calendar Year 2021 Payment and Policy Changes for Home Health Agencies – Summary

CMS released the 2021 home health final rule on Thursday, October 29, 2020.  There were minimal changes compared to the home health proposed rule that was released in July 2020. Probably the best news in the rule was the 1.9% aggregate increase (or $390 million) in reimbursement that agencies...

Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19 – October 15, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the United States, states, payers, and providers are looking for ways to expand access to telehealth services. Telehealth is an essential tool in ensuring patients are able to access the healthcare services they need in as safe a manner as possible. In order to...

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Impacted Medicare Home Healthcare

Medicare home healthcare has been pivotal during the coronavirus pandemic, but it still needs to undergo changes to fully meet beneficiaries’ needs. By Kelsey Waddill October 30, 2020 – While the coronavirus pandemic has forced positive change elsewhere in the healthcare industry, Medicare home healthcare policies still have room to improve, a...

Bipartisan bill would improve access to telehealth services

The bipartisan Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act, introduced by Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), if passed, would provide Medicare reimbursement for audio and video telehealth services furnished by home health agencies during the COVID-19 emergency and future public health emergencies. Companion legislation also was introduced...

Lawmakers Eye Medicare Coverage for Telehealth in Home Health Care

Bills introduced in both the Senate and House last week call for Medicare coverage for home health care services provided via telehealth during a public health emergency. By Eric Wicklund October 26, 2020 – A new bill before Congress aims to improve Medicare coverage for home health services delivered via telehealth during...

Will telehealth growth outlast the pandemic? 10 execs weigh in

Telehealth growth has sped up during the pandemic, but whether it continues long-term is a point of debate among hospital and health system CIOs. The fate of telehealth rests on several factors, including CMS and commercial payers permanently extending payment benefits for telehealth and virtual care services. “CMS keeps...
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