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2021 Medicare Remote Patient Monitoring FAQs: CMS Issues Final Rule

The ten RPM Frequently Asked…

On December 1, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized new policies related to remote patient monitoring aka remote physiologic monitoring or “RPM,” reimbursed under the Medicare program. The changes, part of the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule final rule are intended to clarify CMS’ position on how it interprets requirements for RPM services.  This rule finalizes many of the proposals released in August 2020, and builds upon previous RPM guidance, including changes allowing general supervision for purposes of incident to billing

The ten RPM Frequently Asked…

Medicare telehealth expansion gets bipartisan stamp of approval from lawmakers

Telehealth technology has proved to be a reliable tool for Medicare providers throughout the pandemic, according to a bipartisan and bicameral group of 49 lawmakers who want to lock in those gains now.

In a Dec. 4 letter, the lawmakers urge House and Senate leaders to use end-of-year legislation to permanently expand Medicare coverage of telehealth services.

The letter says Congress should permanently waive geographic restrictions on telehealth services, so that a beneficiary’s eligibility isn’t based on where they live. The lawmakers also want the telehealth services approved by the Centers for Medicare and…

HHS Authorizes Some Telehealth Services Across State Lines–Temporarily

On December 3 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services authorized health care practitioners licensed in other states to provide telehealth services across state lines for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This emergency measure only applies to practitioners who provide testing and treatment of COVID infections. It preempts state licensing laws that erect barriers to such care.

This order expands upon an earlier decision by HHS to authorize Medicare payments to providers of telehealth services both within and across state lines during the pandemic. That action had limited effectiveness, because…

CMS Permanently Expands Telehealth As Far As Congress Has Allowed

Permanent Medicare telehealth reimbursement is limited to beneficiaries in rural areas located in…

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) expanded Medicare reimbursement for telehealth within the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule for 2021. During the pandemic Public Health Emergency (PHE), CMS has temporarily reimbursed many telehealth services. In light of the success of unprecedented telehealth utilization during the PHE, more than 60 services have been formally added to the Medicare telehealth list which will endure beyond the end of the PHE.

Permanent Medicare telehealth reimbursement is limited to beneficiaries in rural areas located in…

HHS Expands COVID-19 Telehealth Capabilities in PREP Act Amendment

The Health and Human Services Secretary will allow healthcare providers to use telehealth across state lines to deliver “Covered Countermeasures” against the coronavirus.

By Eric Wicklund

December 04, 2020 – The federal government is expanding the telehealth platform for diagnostic tests and other devices that may be used to address the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has issued its fourth amendment to the Declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, adding connected health channels to increase access to countermeasures against…

Bipartisan Cadre of Lawmakers Call for Permanent Telehealth Expansion

Telehealth has proved vital during the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than four dozen lawmakers want to see maximized moving forward.

A bipartisan, bicameral collection of 49 lawmakers urged House and Senate leaders Friday to include a permanent expansion of access to telehealth services in potential end-of-year legislation.

In a letter authored by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, lawmakers argue that telehealth has proven to be a critical service during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring patients continue to receive care while minimizing the spread of the virus, freeing…

CMS Finalizes Proposed Cuts to Medicare Part B Therapy Services for 2021, Expands Telehealth Coverage

The federal government on Tuesday finalized its proposed physician fee schedule for the 2021 calendar year, formalizing cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates for therapy services provided to residents covered under Part B — while also expanding some telehealth flexibilities offered during COVID-19.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in August floated a 9% cut to Part B physical and occupational therapy rates; the finalized Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) announced Tuesday appears to keep those same cuts intact, National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care executive vice president Cynthia Morton told…

CMS Finalizes Telehealth, RPM Coverage in 2021 Physician Fee Schedule

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…

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…

CMS finalizes physician fee schedule, including controversial updates to E/M visits

The Trump administration has finalized the annual regulation governing physician payments, and in the rule approved payment adjustments to evaluation and management visits that drew ire from docs.

The changes to E/M visits would boost payments for these services, with the goal of empowering physicians to intervene more quickly to catch complex conditions and better manage patients’ health, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma said on a call with reporters Tuesday.

“These payment increases … support clinicians who manage ongoing care of patients with a…

Industry Voices—Pandemic realities have accelerated the growth of promising new telehealth models

Even in a pre-pandemic world, telehealth was on…

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the pressures and prerogatives of a global pandemic can have a profound effect on lives and livelihoods everywhere.

In healthcare, where new technologies were already introducing new models and modalities of care, we are seeing some of those COVID-19-driven priorities play out in real time. The desire to deliver safe, socially distanced medical care and consultations to a large number of patients has dramatically accelerated the telehealth trend.

Even in a pre-pandemic world, telehealth was on…

CMS makes some telehealth coverage permanent, finalizes specialty rate cuts

Broadly,the changes benefit general medicine at the expense of specialty providers. Medical groups spoke out against the cuts to pay of many specialties in the physician fee schedule released late Tuesday, arguing they could be disastrous for providers if 2021 sees a continuation of the rising expenses and declining revenue that’s defined 2020 during…

In its sweeping 2021 payment rule, the Trump administration locked in a number of permanent expansions to the telehealth services Medicare covers and significantly increased payments for evaluation and management (E/M) visits beginning in 2021.

Broadly,the changes benefit general medicine at the expense of specialty providers. Medical groups spoke out against the cuts to pay of many specialties in the physician fee schedule released late Tuesday, arguing they could be disastrous for providers if 2021 sees a continuation of the rising expenses and declining revenue that’s defined 2020 during…

AMA Pushes for Widespread Telehealth Adoption

American Medical Association House of Delegates will advocate for equitable and accessible telehealth post-COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — At a Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a new policy to advocate for widespread adoption of telehealth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the resolution, the AMA will advocate for the federal government and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, state governments and agencies, and the private health insurance industry to implement uniform rules and regulations for…

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 Medicare-based DPPs (MDPPS) will only last for…

CMS finalizes remote patient monitoring regulations in final rule: 7 takeaways

CMS released the 2021 physician fee schedule Dec. 1 with expanded telehealth services, remote physiologic monitoring updates and an extension for telecommunications tech supervision.

Seven takeaways:

1. CMS clarified its payment policies related to the remote physiologic monitoring services for CPT codes 99453, 99454, 99091, 99457 and 99458, which were finalized in recent years. These services include remote monitoring of weight, blood pressure, pulse oximetry and respiratory flow rate. 

2. Once the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, there must be…

States can make a difference in long-term telehealth policies

A new National Governors Association report explores how different states are addressing key questions around licensure, reimbursement, incentives, privacy and more.

By Kat Jercich December 01, 202003:48 PM

The National Governors Association released a white paper this week examining state policies around telehealth and outlining key considerations for governors to assess the potential implications of said policies going forward.  

As the report notes, although policies vary from state to state, there…

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