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Center for Connected Health Policy

School-Based Telemedicine Program Shown to Reduce ED Visits and Improve Morbidity for Children with Asthma

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

An article published recently in JAMA Pediatrics examined associations between a school-based telehealth program and all-cause emergency department visits made by Medicaid enrolled children. Researchers analyzed 2,443,405 child-months of Medicaid claims data, comprised by 23,198 children aged 3 to 17 years living in Williamsburg county, South Carolina. The data was categorized into pre- and post-intervention, with pre-intervention data spanning 2012 to 2014 and post-intervention data between 2015 and 2017. In addition to overall claims data, the research included a subsample of children with asthma, intended to capture associations between children with asthma and the same school-based telehealth program.
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Advances in State Telehealth Policies Persist as Companies Work to Improve Cybersecurity & New Billing Codes are Released

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

CCHP Provides Resources to Navigate CA Medicaid’s New Telehealth Policy

Last month the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released its finalized telehealth policy update for Medi-Cal (CA Medicaid) fee-for-service, as well as a few other programs (including Indian Health Services, Memorandum of Agreement (IHS-MOA), Federally Qualified Health Centers/Rural Health Clinics (FQHCs/RHCs), Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (PACT), Local Education Agency (LEA) and Vision Care).  An All Plan Letter was also distributed to Managed Care plans on the changes.  The most significant changes to the fee-for-service policy included allowing providers to decide what modality, live video or store-and-forward, will be used to deliver eligible services to a Medi-Cal enrollee as long as the service is covered by Medi-Cal and meets all other Medi-Cal guidelines and policies, can be properly provided via telehealth and meets the procedural and definition components of the appropriate CPT or HCPCS code.  Additionally, the home now qualifies as an originating site with no requirement that a provider be present with the patient at the time services are rendered.  DHCS has also opened up one code for e-consult, considered a subset of store-and-forward.  Finally, DHCS has specified that in order for a provider to qualify for reimbursement, they must be licensed in CA, enrolled as a Medi-Cal rendering provider or non-physician medical practitioner and affiliated with an enrolled Medi-Cal provider group.  The enrolled Medi-Cal provider group must be located in California or a border community.

The program specific manuals (for example, IHS-MOAs, and FQHCs/RHCs) do have additional requirements and restrictions.  CCHP has created a factsheet and comparison chart between the programs that outlines the various changes to the revised Medi-Cal policies.

To learn more, visit CCHP’s California webpage for all the latest developments in CA telehealth policy.

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Milbank Memorial Fund Releases Issue Brief on Policy Landscape of In-home Telehealth

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

In August, the Milbank Memorial Fund released an issue brief on the telehealth policy landscape, emphasizing the growth of synchronous, live-video telehealth delivered in patients’ homes and other nonclinical settings. The issue brief outlines the current state of home-based telehealth, differentiating between direct-to-consumer telehealth, which is commonly used to address minor and acute conditions using a patient’s personal devices, and in-home telehealth visits from a patient’s primary care provider, which are typically conducted for more serious conditions and may require more extensive technological components.
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California’s New Medi-Cal Telehealth Reimbursement Policies Released with Major Changes

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

In mid-August, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released its finalized telehealth policy update for the following:

  • Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid Program) fee-for-service program
  • An All Plan Letter (APL) for Managed Care
  • Indian Health Services, Memorandum of Agreement (IHS-MOAs)
  • Family Plan, Access, Care and Treatment (Family PACT)
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
  • Local Education Agency (LEA)
  • Vision Care

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FCC, CMS, California Medicaid All Take Steps to Expand Telehealth Utilization

By | Center for Connected Health Policy
Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy
FCC Pilot Up for Public Comment & FCC Voting to Overhaul Rural Health Care Program

Last month the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released their proposed ruleto establish the Connected Care Pilot Program to support the development of telehealth services and delivery for low-income Americans, especially among rural and veteran populations. A Notice of Inquiry for comments on the program was originally made in July 2018.  The FCC is proposing to adopt a $100 million budget, and would fund up to 20 connected care projects with a three-year funding period, though all costs of a pilot would not be fully funded by this program. The pilot would give health care providers the flexibility to determine health conditions and geographic areas that they would like to focus on. The program would be limited to only health conditions that typically require at least several months or more of treatment, such as behavioral health, opioid dependency, chronic health conditions and high risk pregnancies. The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on July 30, 2019 and comments are due August 29, 2019.  FCC’s responses to public comments are expected on or before September 30, 2019.

Additionally, in July the FCC voted to adopt a Report and Order which indicates they will be reforming the way they distribute funding in the Rural Health Care Program, amidst growing demand and an effort to reduce inefficiencies and waste.  A major component of the Rural Health Care Program involves subsidizing the cost of broadband services for rural participants. The FCC plans to prioritize its support through the program based on “rurality tiers” as well as if the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) designates the area as a medically underserved population, with those classified as “extremely rural” receiving the highest priority.

To learn more about the FCC’s Report and Order and other planned changes, see the full document.

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Medicare Proposed 2020 PFS & California Medicaid Policy

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

Medi-Cal Telehealth Fee-For-Service Policy Update

On July 29, 2019, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) which oversees the state’s Medicaid program (Medi-Cal), released their final telehealth policy update for fee-for-service.  In October 2018, DHCS released proposed changes to telehealth policies for Medi-Cal fee-for-service, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), Indian Health Services (IHS) and Family Planning, Access, Care and Treatment (FPACT).  A copy of the final fee-for-service policy is available on the DHCS website though it is still labeled “DRAFT.”  The Department states that while this is the final policy, the official version of the policy will be published on their site later this month along with the updated manuals for FQHCs, RHCs, IHS, and FPACT.  When all manuals have been released, CCHP will do an in-depth analysis of all of the new policies.  In the meantime, CCHP has created a side-by-side comparison of Medi-Cal’s previous policy, the October 2018 proposal and the final proposal as well as highlighting some of the changes in the final policy.

CCHP will also be holding an informational webinar in the Fall to go over these exciting changes in Medi-Cal’s policies.  Stay tuned for more information.

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Telehealth-Based Directly Observed Therapy Proves Effective in Guam for Tuberculosis Treatment

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

CMS Releases Proposed CY 2020 Physician Fee Schedule

Yesterday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their proposed Calendar Year 2020 Physician Fee Schedule, aiming to reduce administrative burden on physicians, and make it easier for patients to access value-based care.  Among the changes, CMS has proposed steps to help clinicians better manage chronically ill patients as they transition from the hospital to the home through care management services.  CMS is also proposing to add three new codes for a bundled episode of care for treatment of opioid use disorder, among other changes.

Comments on the proposal are due Sept. 27, 2019.

Stay tuned for an in depth analysis from CCHP in next week’s In Focus.  

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