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AMA plans to push for more telehealth ‘throughout the pandemic and beyond’

The aim of the activity is to win buy-in from government officials and private insurers on the AMA’s rationale for advancing telehealth “throughout the…

The American Medical Association has adopted new telehealth policy positions, the organization announced upon the Tuesday closing of a special five-day virtual meeting.

In an email sent to the press Nov. 18, the organization’s media department said the updated telemedicine playbook directs the AMA to advocate with lawmakers and regulators on codifying rules governing coverage, access and reimbursement.

The aim of the activity is to win buy-in from government officials and private insurers on the AMA’s rationale for advancing telehealth “throughout the…

9 barriers for patients accessing telehealth

For its Telehealth Impact Study, the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition surveyed 1,594 physicians and other healthcare professionals across the U.S. about their virtual care adoption practices, challenges and patient satisfaction. The coalition, which comprises more than 1,000 private health systems, universities and research organizations, distributed the survey from July 13 to…

The lack of access to technology and broadband internet are the most frequently cited barriers that physicians perceive as preventing their patients from participating in telehealth, according to the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition.

For its Telehealth Impact Study, the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition surveyed 1,594 physicians and other healthcare professionals across the U.S. about their virtual care adoption practices, challenges and patient satisfaction. The coalition, which comprises more than 1,000 private health systems, universities and research organizations, distributed the survey from July 13 to…

The lack of access to technology and broadband internet are the most frequently cited barriers that physicians perceive as preventing their patients from participating in telehealth, according to the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition.

For its Telehealth Impact Study, the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition surveyed 1,594 physicians and other healthcare professionals across the U.S. about their virtual care adoption practices, challenges and patient satisfaction. The coalition, which comprises more than 1,000 private health systems, universities and research organizations, distributed the survey from July 13 to…

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 occupational therapists, audiologists and speech and language pathologists.

The Expanded Telehealth Access Act, unveiled this week by some 14 US Representatives, is one of dozens of bills submitted over the past few months by…

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. Bobby Rush (IL-01), Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08), Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01), Rep. William Timmons (SC-04), and Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20) introduced bipartisan legislation this week to increase access to telehealth services. The Expanded Telehealth Access Act expands the list of the providers eligible for Medicare reimbursement for providing…

FCC Opens Connected Care Pilot Program Application Filing Window

The Federal Communications Commission released a public notice announcing the application window for its Connected Care Pilot Program is now open and will close December 7. As we previously wrote, the $100 million, three-year Connected Care Pilot Program is designed to offset eligible healthcare providers’ costs for providing certain connected care services, particularly to treat low-income Americans and veterans. The FCC’s public notice offers more detail about the Connected Care Pilot Program application process and the types of services and equipment that are eligible for support…

The Federal Communications Commission released a public notice announcing the application window for its Connected Care Pilot Program is now open and will close December 7. As we previously wrote, the $100 million, three-year Connected Care Pilot Program is designed to offset eligible healthcare providers’ costs for providing certain connected care services, particularly to treat low-income Americans and veterans. The FCC’s public notice offers more detail about the Connected Care Pilot Program application process and the types of services and equipment that are eligible for support…

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 the OIG’s review focuses on the Federal Government’s oversight of these programs, its findings could result in provider audits and liabilities to participating providers for noncompliance. Health care providers should examine their compliance with rules and requirements with Medicare telehealth and their…

AMA Delegates Examine COVID-19 Telehealth Change

Physicians discussed the best way to advocate for new flexibilities in telemedicine granted to patients and clinicians due to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the American Medical Association virtual Special Meeting of its House of Delegates.

Whether in response to mandatory quarantines or patients’ concern for their own risk of transmitting the virus, many more patients are choosing telemedicine, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has encouraged that shift in care by relaxing many of the restrictions that typically limit patient access to telemedicine. (See “

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 Medicare claims data. While telehealth usage has stabilized since shutdowns went into full effect, the number of virtual visits remains much higher than before COVID-19.

Physicians, hospitals, and providers all over the nation are seeking guidance from their state government officials on how…

Dr. Madara: Pandemic demands nimble response and AMA is delivering

In a virtual address to the AMA House of Delegates at the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting, Dr. Madara described how the AMA strives to continue steady progress each day…

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested physicians and the health care system, and its full impact on society may not be known for some time. But is has also provided validation, even if painful, that the AMA’s strategic plan has put the organization on the right path, said James L. Madara, MD, the AMA’s executive vice president and CEO. 

In a virtual address to the AMA House of Delegates at the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting, Dr. Madara described how the AMA strives to continue steady progress each day…

‘Virtual Hospital’ Model Passes Test in COVID-19 Patients

Only a few patients with COVID-19 pneumonia required hospitalization when they received care in a “hospital at home” (HaH) telemedicine program, researchers at one health system reported.

Of nearly 1,500 patients enrolled in the program, 40 required hospitalization and eight needed ventilation; just two patients died, reported Kranthi Sitammagari, MD, of Atrium Health in Monroe, North Carolina, and others from Atrium where the HaH program was implemented. Their findings appeared in Annals of Internal Medicine.

The dual-acuity program used a symptom scoring algorithm to determine placement. Patients…

Telehealth Boom Continues: CMS Adds New Covered Services


The push for increased telehealth coverage continues during the COVID-19 public health emergency (“PHE”). On October 14, 2020, CMS added 11 new telehealth services available for Medicare reimbursement during the PHE. The newly added services include cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services and certain neurostimulator analysis and programming services. Since the beginning of the PHE, CMS has added over 144 covered telehealth services. A list of services payable under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule when furnished via telehealth is found here.

These newly added services follow data released…

HHS Prioritizes Telehealth Expansion for Rural Areas During Pandemic

With physician shortages…

The department released an action plan to address health care and technological disparities facing rural communities in response to the pandemic.

Faith Ryan Thu, 11/12/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need for major investments in digital health services and technology across the country, including telehealth and broadband infrastructure — particularly in rural communities. As a result, the Department of Health and Human Services aims to tackle American rural health care challenges in its latest action plan.

With physician shortages…

Evaluating Telehealth Adoption and Related Barriers Among Hospitals Located in Rural and Urban Areas

Funding: This research was supported by National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Grant (R01MD011523), and National Institute on Aging Grant (R56AG062315), awarded to Jie Chen. Funding was also awarded to Deanna Barath from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars program. None of the funding bodies played a role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis, interpretation, manuscript writing, or the decision to submit this manuscript for publication. The copyright line for this article was changed on 12 November 2020 after…

Funding: This research was supported by National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Grant (R01MD011523), and National Institute on Aging Grant (R56AG062315), awarded to Jie Chen. Funding was also awarded to Deanna Barath from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholars program. None of the funding bodies played a role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis, interpretation, manuscript writing, or the decision to submit this manuscript for publication. The copyright line for this article was changed on 12 November 2020 after…

Patient-Monitoring Tech Lets COVID-19 Patients Recover at Home

with increasing knowledge about COVID-19, advancements in care are changing the way people recover from the virus — and helping curb its spread. At the onset of the pandemic, the two options for recovery involved either a hospital stay or total isolation at home, leaving many with nothing in between. 

To help relieve this pain point for consumers, AdventHealth began to offer at-home patient monitoring that provides for peace of mind and the safety of a care team, along with the comfort of staying in one’s own home, filling a potentially dangerous…

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 of the telehealth waivers on the federal and state level will remain in place into the new year. 

In addition to the many CMS waivers that we previously covered, new proposed legislation aims to increase the availability of telehealth services provided by home…

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