“Telemedicine” – What’s Permissible, What’s Not

Federal and State Initiatives and Waivers During This Public Health Emergency.

Here’s the latest on Federal and State initiatives with regard to healthcare during this COVID-19 situation.
Medicare Waiver:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several waivers and policy changes to broaden access to telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Through an emergency declaration under the Stafford Act and the National Emergencies Act, Medicare coverage will now include three types of virtual services: 
  • Medicare telehealth visits
  • Virtual check-ins
  • E-visits
CMS confirmed that HHS will not conduct audits to ensure that a prior relationship existed for claims submitted during this public health emergency.
The American Hospital Association has issued a Fact Sheet that you can check out. 
There’s also a waiver for HIPAA violations. Effective immediately, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will exercise enforcement discretion and waive penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients in good faith through everyday communications technologies, such as FaceTime or Skype, during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
State Waivers:
Here’s the latest on U.S. States and Territories Modifying Requirements for Telehealth in Response to COVID-19. This covers situations such as out-of-state physicians, preexisting provider-patient relationships, audio-only requirements, etc. 
Be sure to check this often as waivers are being issued as emergency declarations are made.

by Peter Hoppenfeld