On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced an additional expansion of telehealth services, widening provider access to its 62 million Medicare beneficiaries. It also strongly encouraged state Medicaid programs and commercial payors to continue to do the same. Such action prioritizes the need of immediate and on-going care for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we expect states to continue to similarly expand telehealth services and Medicaid reimbursement for the same. CMS issued a Telehealth Fact Sheet and a series of FAQs to assist providers and patients make immediate use of the telehealth services now available.
TELEHEALTH PATIENT CARE 
As of March 6, 2020, while under a public health emergency, Medicare beneficiaries within the United States may use technology to have telehealth visits with their providers and providers will be reimbursed the same as an in-person visit. This is not limited to COVID-19 related care and may include all types of evaluation and management office visits, mental health counseling and preventive care. These visits may occur in the home, hospital outpatient units, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities or other health care facilities and removes the requirement that such services be provided at originating sites or in a qualifying rural area. Also:
2. Virtual Check-Ins
3. Telephone Calls
Updated Medicare guidelines state that cell phones and other technology may be used for patient-provider communication, and telephone services may be reimbursed by CMS under CPT codes 98966-98968 and 99441-99443.
4. On-Line Patient Portals or E-Visits
Medicare continues to pay for patient initiated communication with their providers without going to the physician’s office through the use of online patient portals. The relationship with the provider must be previously established. In order for this communication to be billable by the physician, the communication must be patient initiated, but information on how to use the service may be initially provided by the practitioner. The communications may occur over a 7 day period. The physician may bill for this communication using CPT codes 99421-99423, depending on the minutes, and HCPCS codes G2061-G206, as applicable. Medicare coinsurance and deductibles would apply to these services.
REMOTE PATIENT MONITORING
In addition to telehealth, or telemedicine, providers may engage in remote patient monitoring for both new and established patients. The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would apply to these services.
HIPAA WAIVERS 
Effective immediately, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) will exercise enforcement discretion and waive certain HIPAA sanctions and penalties against healthcare providers that serve patients in good faith through everyday audio and video communication products, such as FaceTime or Skype, which may otherwise risk HIPAA violations during the public health emergency. OCR provides additional guidance related to several other technologies, including those that should specifically not be used, related to the provision of telehealth.