Telehealth post COVID-19

We’ve been talking a lot about telehealth throughout the pandemic. COVID-19 has defined and advanced the 10-year-old platform. After COVID-19 caused a vast majority to stay home and utilize technology to communicate with their friends, family, doctors and pharmacist(s).

Agencies and policymakers are still working through telehealth’s advancements. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been working toward telehealth solutions that benefit patients, health care workers and facilities across the board. On May 22, 2020, CMS passed the final ruling on the “requirements that will increase access to telehealth for seniors in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, expand the types of supplemental benefits available for beneficiaries with an MA plan who have chronic diseases, provide support for more MA options for beneficiaries in rural communities and expand access to MA for patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).” This change “encourages MA plans to increase their telehealth benefits and plan options for [the] beneficiaries [that are] living in rural areas.” This also provides Medicare “beneficiaries with ESRD more [affordable] coverage choices.”

Click HERE for CMS’ spotlights for FQHCs that address:

  • COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) updates
  • New payment for telehealth services for RHCs and FQHCs
  • Expansion of virtual communication services for FQHCs
  • Revision of FQHC home health agency shortage Requirement for visiting nursing services
  • New virtual communication services
  • Grandfathered tribal FQHCS

House members are concerned about mental health patients and are discussing the current relaxed telehealth regulations. They’d like to see them continue to be relaxed “for a reasonable transition period following [the pandemics’] emergency period. [This would allow them] to collect the appropriate data to determine which of those flexibilities should be [permanently] continued.”

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