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Stark Law Changes Should Benefit Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring

The OIG’s Final Rule on changes to the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute creates several new safe harbors that will help providers create and expand telehealth platforms and remote patient monitoring programs.

By Eric Wicklund

November 24, 2020 – New safe harbors proposed for the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute could help providers expand their telehealth and remote patient monitoring platforms.

A Final Rule issued last week by the Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General creates seven new safe harbors for value-based arrangements, and modifies…

5 Takeaways About the Telehealth Boom

The first of a two-part story on 10 takeaways about the telehealth boom. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a bumpy ride in the U.S., featuring one controversy after another. One of the few areas of agreement is that the widespread adoption of telehealth amid the pandemic has been, by and large, a positive development.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a bumpy ride in the United States, featuring one controversy after another. One of the few areas of agreement is that the widespread adoption of telehealth amid the pandemic has been, by and…

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…

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

Fact sheet

 

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.

The calendar year (CY) 2021 PFS final rule is one of several rules that reflect a broader Administration-wide strategy to…

CMS Finalizes Permanent Expansion of Medicare Telehealth Services and Improved Payment for Time Doctors Spend with Patients

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, prioritizing CMS’ investment in primary care and chronic disease management by increasing payments to physicians and other practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions. The rule allows non-physician practitioners to provide the care they were trained and licensed to give, cutting red tape so healthcare professionals can practice at the top of their license and…

New Telehealth Bill Would Penalize States Who Don’t Join Licensure Compact

A bill introduced last month would deny certain federal funding to states who don’t join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which aims to improve telehealth expansion by streamlining licensure applications.

By Eric Wicklund

November 24, 2020 – A group of Congressmen wants to prod states into joining the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which aims to make it easier for providers to use telehealth to treat patients in other states.

US Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) has introduced a bill (HR 8723) that would prevent states from receiving…

Diving into the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act

The Medicare home health benefit does not currently permit the inclusion of telehealth services as a reimbursable service as part of the plan of care. Despite this, many home health agencies (HHAs) have found great value for their patients in including telehealth as part of care delivery and do so despite the lack of reimbursement.

In 2019, as part of its annual rulemaking, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) permitted HHAs to include telehealth-related expenses on their cost reports. This was an important step that will help CMS and Congress…

MEDPAC Presentation Offers Telehealth Policy Options for Medicare

Last week a presentation from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) surfaced, presenting policy options for expanding telehealth in Medicare. MEDPAC is a nonpartisan legislative branch agency that provides the US Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program.  The presentation starts by putting the current telehealth policy environment into perspective, with bullet points on how providers have rapidly adopted telehealth during the public health emergency (PHE), and how health…

ACHP: Solidify Telehealth Flexibilities, COVID-19 Test Funding

The Alliance of Community Health Plans urged Congress to consider making telehealth flexibilities more concrete and increasing federal burden for coronavirus testing coverage.

By Kelsey Waddill

November 23, 2020 – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) urged Congress to take steps toward making telehealth flexibilities permanent and to ensure that coronavirus testing is available to consumers without cost-sharing.

“One of the most important changes in health care delivery during the pandemic has been the unprecedented increase in availability and utilization of telehealth,” ACHP stated. “As telehealth has…

Telehealth not enough to offset crushing demand for mental health services

COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for a healthcare system that can help…

Lightened telehealth regulations have expanded access to virtual visits for therapy and other mental health services. But many patients still aren’t having their needs met. 

By ELISE REUTER Post a comment / Nov 19, 2020 at 8:50 PM

Worries about rising Covid-19 cases, a challenging presidential transition, and growing inequities are crushing people across the U.S.

COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need for a healthcare system that can help…

Verma: Older Adults Must Have a ‘More Robust’ Set of Home Care Options

“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a harsh light on the human costs of a long-term care system that relies too heavily on institutional…

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday touted several tools designed to help states rebalance their long-term care ecosystem toward home- and community-based services. 

The development is the latest in a series of CMS efforts aimed at strengthening home- and community-based services amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the ultimate goal of decreasing America’s reliance on nursing home care.

“The COVID-19 crisis has shone a harsh light on the human costs of a long-term care system that relies too heavily on institutional…

Telehealth Gets a Boost Among Medicare Recipients in Pandemic

Medicare dramatically expanded benefits for remote health care in response to COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know.

Walecia Konrad November 20, 2020

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Advocates have long called for broader adoption of virtual doctor visits, but it took the coronavirus…

AMA Adopts Policy to Expand Access to Telehealth

mHealth, Telehealth Groups Lobby CMS for Better RPM Reimbursement

Yet delegates struggled to craft policy recommendations that could preserve newfound telehealth flexibilities while side-stepping unintended consequences, such as payers diverting patients to other non-physicians for care…

Most physicians at the American Medical Association‘s virtual special meeting of its House of Delegates agreed that expanding access to telemedicine during the pandemic benefited patients and practices alike — saving at least one from bankruptcy.

In a recent AMA poll, 60% said that telehealth has improved the health of their patients.

Yet delegates struggled to craft policy recommendations that could preserve newfound telehealth flexibilities while side-stepping unintended consequences, such as payers diverting patients to other non-physicians for care…

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