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Center for Connected Health Policy

FCC Report on Barriers and Incentives to Telehealth Provides Recommendations to Improve Telehealth Expansion

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

This month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a report prepared by the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee regarding state, local, and tribal regulatory barriers and incentives to telehealth. The report examines how elements of broadband development and regulation act as barriers to the adoption of telehealth in rural and tribal areas across the country, then provides recommendations that may facilitate the expansion of telehealth.

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From Broadband to Medicare Reimbursement, Federal Policies Look at Expanding Access Through Telehealth

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

CY 2020 Final Physician Fee Schedule Released
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published their final CY 2020 Physicians Fee Schedule (PFS) in the first week of November. CMS has finalized the addition of three new codes for a bundled episode of care for treatment of opioid use disorder to the list of services that are eligible for telehealth reimbursement.   CMS is allowing these services to be delivered at any telehealth originating site, including the patient’s home without regard for the geographic requirement, in accordance with the SUPPORT Act. Additionally, CMS has adopted a bundled payment structure for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment by opioid treatment programs (OTPs), which would allow for the counseling and therapy components to be delivered via live interactive video.  CMS has also taken steps to further refine its transitional care management (TCM) and chronic care management (CCM) codes, and create new codes for principal care management (PCM) services for patients that have only one serious chronic condition.  They also issued a clarification for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) that remote physiologic monitoring codes are not reimbursable in FQHC or RHC settings because it is considered included in their RHC All-Inclusive Rate (AIR) or FQHC Prospective Payment System (PPS) sum.  Finally, based on feedback CMS received that obtaining consent for each and every communication technology-based service is burdensome, they have revised this policy for CY 2020 to only require consent once a year for technology-based services.

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Federal CONNECT Act Seeks to Expand Access to Telehealth in Medicare

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

Last week S. 2741 (Sen. Schatz) and HR 4932 (Rep. Thompson), the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019 (CONNECT Act), were introduced in order to amend the Social Security Act to expand access to telehealth in the Medicare program. Medicare currently only reimburses for live-video telehealth services, and asynchronous services (store-and-forward) is not permitted for reimbursement (except for Federal telemedicine demonstration programs in Alaska or Hawaii). Additionally, current law places specific restrictions on the originating site (i.e. the physical location of the patient), practitioner at the distant site (i.e. the physical location of the practitioner) and types of services that can be delivered. One of the most significant restrictions is requiring the patient to be located in a rural area, although there are some exceptions for specific circumstances.

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Review of Geriatric Telehealth Literature Shows Need for More Studies

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society systematically reviewed randomized controlled trial research published from 2012 to 2018 on the use of live-video telehealth services delivered to adults over the age of 65. The study provides an overview of the current state of telehealth research as it pertains to older populations and makes recommendations for further improving the research base.

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Updated 50 State Telehealth Laws & Reimbursement Policies Report

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

An updated Fall 2019 version of CCHP’s “State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies” Report is available today!  The Fall 2019 edition offers policymakers, health advocates and other interested health care professionals a detailed compendium of state telehealth laws, regulations and Medicaid policies.  The report also includes an executive summary, which summarizes CCHP’s findings along with an “At a Glance” Infographic and Chart that highlights key data points from the report.  CCHP’s online interactive map tool has also been updated with all of the newest information from this update.

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With a Stroke of a Pen, Gov. Newsom Continues California’s Telehealth Policy Leadership Role

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

 

On October 14, 2019, California governor, Gavin Newsom, signed into law AB 744, a telehealth private payer parity bill.  Authored by Assemblymember Ceclia Aguiar-Curry(D-Winters), AB 744 was sponsored by the California Medical Association (CMA) and supported by over sixty organizations.  AB 744 was supported by the members of the California Telehealth Policy Coalition.

AB 744 will require contracts issued, amended or renewed after January 1, 2021 between a health care service plan and a health care provider to specify that the provider who delivers services appropriately through telehealth be reimbursed on the same basis and to the same extent that the plan would have had the same service been provided in-person.  The health plan cannot require the use of telehealth if the health care provider has determined that it is not appropriate nor does it limit the ability of the health plan and provider to negotiate the rate of reimbursement for a service.
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Telehealth Policy This Month

By | Center for Connected Health Policy

Original Source: Center for Connected Health Policy

In May 2019, the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging conducted a national poll on the experiences and opinions of telehealth from adults age 50-80 years. The poll asked participants to share their opinions on telehealth compared to in-person office visits, such as the perceived levels of convenience and expressed concerns.

Only 14% of respondents reported that their providers offered telehealth visits through smartphones or computers and only 4% reported having a telehealth visit within the last year. However, interest in telehealth was relatively high. Among respondents, 47% believed that the overall convenience of a telehealth visit would be better than an in-person office visit while 36% believed the in-person visit would be more convenient and 18% believed there would be no difference. Additionally, among respondents whose providers do not offer telehealth visits, 48% expressed interest in having a telehealth visit with their primary care provider, 40% with a specialist, and 35% with a mental health professional.

Older adults showed some concerns with telehealth with 56% believing that they would feel better cared for from an in-person office visit. 71% indicated being concerned that health care providers would not be able to do a physical exam, 68% that care would not be as good, and 49% that there were concerns with privacy.

For more information, the full report is available from the University of Michigan Library.

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