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FCC Unveils 14 Initial Projects Selected for $100M Connected Care Pilot Program

FCC announces initial 14 pilot project selected for $100M Connected Care Pilot Program that will support connected care service across the country and focus on low-income and veteran patients.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced an initial set of 14 pilot projects with over 150 treatment sites in 11 states that have been selected for the Connected Care Pilot Program.  A total of $26.6 million will be awarded to these applicants for proposed projects to treat nearly half a million patients in both urban and rural…

Final Policy, Payment, and Quality Provisions Changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Calendar Year 2021

On December 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that includes updates on policy changes for Medicare payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), and other Medicare Part B issues, on or after January 1, 2021.

Background on the Physician Fee Schedule

Since 1992, Medicare has paid for the services of physicians and other billing professionals under the PFS. Physicians’ services paid under the PFS are furnished in a…

CMS Finalizes Telehealth, RPM Coverage in 2021 Physician Fee Schedule

By Eric Wicklund

December 02, 2020 – Telehealth and remote patient monitoring will see significant improvements in Medicare coverage in 2021.

The long-awaited 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, unveiled on Tuesday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, aims to build upon the momentum for telehealth adoption seen during this year’s coronavirus pandemic. With health systems…

Medicare Extends COVID-19 Telehealth Coverage in Diabetes Prevention Programs

As part of the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, Medicare will continue to reimburse Diabetes Prevention Program providers who use certain telehealth services – but only for the duration of the public health emergency.

By Eric Wicklund

December 02, 2020 – Healthcare providers who use telehealth in their Diabetes Prevention Programs will continue to be reimbursed through Medicare during the coronavirus pandemic, according to guidelines issued this week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

But coverage for virtual services in…

COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Bill

The following is a summary of the elements contained within SEC. 903. Of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Entitled, “FCC COVID–19 TELEHEALTH PROGRAM.”

  • $249,950,000 in additional funds is appropriated for the FCC COVID–19 Telehealth Program
  • In early January, 2021, the FCC shall issue a Public Notice of a 10-day comment period.  Comment should include:
    • Evaluation metrics for funding
    • Treatment of prior applications that were not awarded funding
  • FCC must provide Congress notice of metrics to be used…

Consolidated Appropriations Act – 2021 – COVID-19 Relief Stimulus Bill – 2020-12-21

  • SEC. 903. FCC COVID–19 TELEHEALTH PROGRAM.
  • (a) DEFINITIONS.—In this section—
  • (1) the term ‘‘appropriate congressional com-
  • mittees’’ means—
  • (A) the Committee on Commerce, Science,
  • and Transportation of the Senate; and
  • (B) the Committee on Energy and Com-
  • merce of the House of Representatives;
  • (2) the term ‘‘Commission’’ means the Federal
  • Communications Commission; and
  • (3) the term ‘‘COVID–19 Telehealth Program’’
  • or   ‘‘Program’’    means  the   COVID–19    Telehealth
  • Program established by the Commission under the
  • authority provided under the heading ‘‘SALARIES
  • AND      EXPENSES’’        under   the  …

Congress should include telehealth in year-end funding, say ATA, HIMSS

The groups, which also include Healthcare IT News‘ parent company…

In lieu of permanent policy change, industry groups urged legislators to extend temporary telehealth flexibilities through the end of 2021.

By Kat Jercich December 14, 2020 10:21 AM

The American Telemedicine Association, the Connected Health Initiative and other industry groups issued a letter to Congress on Friday urging legislators to extend temporary telehealth flexibilities until the end of 2021.

The groups, which also include Healthcare IT News‘ parent company…

Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19 – December 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 provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker for policy, regulatory and legal changes related to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. This…

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 provide our clients with quick and actionable guidance on the evolving telehealth landscape, Manatt Health has developed a federal and comprehensive 50-state tracker for policy, regulatory and legal changes related to telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. This…

Is Telehealth Here To Stay? American Medical Association Calls For Expansion

A year ago, if you were feeling sick, you might go to urgent care or your primary care physician. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, it’s much more common to pick up your smartphone and chat about your symptoms…

Key Takeaways

  • With telehealth, pricing transparency and access to care address a largely unmet need. 
  • Consistency of care can be a challenge with telehealth.
  • Cost savings aren’t universal across the telehealth spectrum of care.
  • Treatment for behavioral health has excelled with the help of telehealth.

A year ago, if you were feeling sick, you might go to urgent care or your primary care physician. Since the beginning of the pandemic, however, it’s much more common to pick up your smartphone and chat about your symptoms…

HHS Modifies PREP Act Declaration to Expand Telehealth

The PREP Act, enacted in December 2005, allows the HHS Secretary to issue a declaration that provides immunity from liability for certain…

On December 3, 2020, HHS issued a Fourth Amendment to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (“PREP Act”), which, in part, expands access to certain telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency (“PHE”).  Most notably, this amendment preempts state professional licensure laws with respect to “Covered Countermeasures” that are provided through telehealth to combat COVID 19.

The PREP Act, enacted in December 2005, allows the HHS Secretary to issue a declaration that provides immunity from liability for certain…

CMS Releases FY2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule, Permanently Expanding Telehealth, Increasing Rates, and Broadening Scope of Practice for Non-Physicians

On December 1, 2020, CMS released its FY2021 Final Rule (“Final Rule”) updating the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). The MPFS Final Rule is part of an annual cycle of regulations released during the fourth quarter of each calendar year which makes changes and updates to the various payment systems that comprise Medicare Parts A and B. The Final Rule makes several significant changes to fee schedules, including the permanent expansion of telehealth services, the increase of rates for services provided in a primary care setting, and broadening the scope…

How CPT codes set stage for telehealth’s rise amid pandemic

The event, held…

The use of telemedicine has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. In part because specific regulatory barriers were lowered, but also because an infrastructure was already in place to help manage workflow and facilitate payment.

The story of how telehealth has flourished in the public health emergency and insights about where digital health may go next were presented during “Coverage, Payment and Coding for Digital Medicine and Telehealth: The Present and Future,” an extended session at the AMA CPT® and RBRVS 2020 Annual Symposium.

The event, held…

Final Physician Rule Changes Supervision, Adds Telehealth Codes, Some Permanently

That gives providers more room to breathe, but it complicates compliance as they track the end dates…

In the 2021 final Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rule, CMS made both permanent and temporary changes to supervision, telehealth and other provisions, capturing the fluidity of COVID-19 pandemic times. The rule, which was announced Dec. 1, extended the shelf life of some additions and revisions, which won’t expire until the end of the year in which the public health emergency (PHE) is over, presumably Dec. 31, 2021.

That gives providers more room to breathe, but it complicates compliance as they track the end dates…

Analysis: CMS Gives Telehealth a Boost, But More is Needed

Experts say the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule will advance telehealth adoption, but it falls short of giving momentum to remote patient monitoring. Oh, and Congress needs to step up to the plate, too.

By Eric Wicklund

December 08, 2020 – The 2021 Physician Fee Schedule isn’t knocking anyone over with optimism for the future of telehealth adoption.

Reactions to last week’s final draft from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have been tepid. While most say the changes in coverage for telehealth, mHealth and remote patient…

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