CCHP monitors both state and federal legislation, identifies barriers to telehealth use, and provides policy technical assistance to the regional telehealth resource centers and state and federal policymakers. As the federally designated National Telehealth Policy Resource Center (NTRCP), CCHP provides policy technical assistance, legislative tracking, and policy analyses to twelve regional telehealth policy resource centers (TRCs) nationwide.

CCHP Staff

Mei Wa Kwong, J.D.
Executive Director

Mei Wa Kwong joined CCHP in March 2010, where she works on public policy issues as they impact telehealth on the state and federal level.  She is also the project director for the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center.

For CCHP, Ms. Kwong manages projects, provides policy technical assistance to state and federal lawmakers, industry members, providers, consumers and others, oversees the CCHP policy staff and works closely with CCHP’s partners and consultants.  She has authored several articles published in peer review journals and has presented at national conferences.

Prior to joining CCHP, Ms. Kwong was a public policy analyst for Children’s Home Society of California, working on child care and early education issues on the state and federal levels. She also worked extensively with the Child Development Policy Institute, a statewide public policy organization, and was recognized by them in 2004 for her work in the early care and education field.  She was also at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts in Washington, DC working on federal tax issues, and administered the association’s political action committee. Ms. Kwong holds a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University, and a JD from George Washington University Law School.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Release CY 2019 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog | No Comments

Last week CMS released its proposed Calendar Year (CY) 2019 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) containing its proposal for momentous changes for Medicare, aiming to modernize the healthcare system and help “restore the doctor-patient relationship” by reducing administrative burden.  Among the changes, the proposed rule not only expands telehealth reimbursement, but communicates a new interpretation by CMS of the applicability of their statutory requirements for reimbursement of telehealth.  Telehealth delivered services under Medicare are limited in statute by 1834(m) of the Social Security Act which limits the use of telehealth to certain services, providers, technology (mainly live video) and patient locations (needing to be in certain types of healthcare facilities in rural areas).  CMS, in their rule, expresses concern that these requirements may be limiting the coding for new kinds of services that utilize communication technology.

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CMS Proposes Amending Billing Regulations to Medicare Remote Patient Monitoring

By | National Telehealth Policy Resource Center Blog | No Comments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a proposal rule which would provide a definition to remote patient monitoring (RPM) and amend regulations to allow home health associations (HHAs) to report RPM in administrative costs.  CMS’ logic in interpreting its various statutory obligations for payment that allows them to make this change are detailed in the rule.   They acknowledge from the outset that Medicare is prohibited from making payment for services furnished via a telecommunications system if the services could substitute for an in-person home health service.  However, no prohibition exists for furnishing payment if the service merely augments care, rather than substitutes for an in-person visit.  Furthermore, CMS explains that while a telecommunications system is defined under provisions of the Social Security Act that pertains to telehealth reimbursement as “two-way, real-time interactive communication”, no definition is provided as it relates to the provision of home health care.  Additionally, remote patient monitoring is not considered a Medicare telehealth service as currently defined by Medicare, as CMS has begun reimbursing for RPM code 99091 without applying the limitations and restrictions telehealth services are subject to in Medicare.  Therefore, CMS utilizes a similar definition of RPM as the one included for CPT code 99091 “the collection of physiologic data digitally stored and/or transmitted by the patient and/or caregiver to the HHA”.  Under this definition, RPM is not replacing but instead augmenting in-person care nor do the limitations to reimbursement for telehealth apply.  This interpretation allows CMS to accept RPM services as an administrative cost for HHAs, which can be factored into the costs per visit.

CMS is seeking comments on this and other proposed regulation as well as additional utilization of telecommunication technologies for future rulemaking by August 31, 2018.

For further details, the full document can be accessed in the Federal Register.

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October 2018

SEARCH2018 Telehealth Research Symposium

October 24 - October 25

Proving the Benefit of Connected Health Systems October 24-25, 2018 – San Diego, California SEARCH2018 invites connected health researchers, academicians, and innovators to join in structured and open discussions of telemedicine…

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