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.

Call Us: (877) 707-7172

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.

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 A Notice of Inquiry for comments on the program was originally made in July 2018.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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