Early last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their final 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Included in these changes are new billing codes, expanding the telemedicine services paid for by Medicare. Providers can now specifically bill for telehealth services, such as health risk assessments, care planning for chronic conditions, and crisis-related psychotherapy.
New Report from Center for Connected Health Policy Shows Progress Towards Increased Telehealth Reimbursement
This month the Center for Connected Health Policy released their report, State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies: A Comprehensive Scan of the 50 States and District of Columbia. Although this report focuses primarily on Medicaid, the trends are consistent with those in the larger industry. Perhaps most notably, Medicaid is becoming less restrictive regarding telehealth reimbursement.
On September 29, 2017, the Veterans Affairs Department announced the proposal of a new rule that will expand telehealth services to veterans. The ‘Anywhere to Anywhere’ program allows for VA providers to deliver telehealth services across state borders, without being impeded by state licensing requirements.
Millions of Americans have been affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma over the past few weeks. Many have faced evacuations, flooding, destruction, and even the loss of loved ones. Families have been displaced from their homes, some forced to reside in shelters and some seeking refuge with family and friends. These types of tragedies can leave many individuals ridden with fear and anxiety as their worlds have been forever changed. There are many organizations committed to supporting the physical needs of the victims, but it is also imperative that healthcare providers be able to support the mental health and recovery of these victims! Telehealth offers the opportunity to provide greater access to behavioral healthcare for those in need. In the areas...
Trump’s announcement this week to declare a national emergency on opioid abuse may prove to reduce regulatory restrictions for telehealth. Once a national emergency is formally enacted by the President and his administration, which has not yet occurred, there will be new authority for the president and additional resources available to support addictions treatment. With this, it is possible the president might use this new authority to override some existing legislation restricting providers from prescribing and treating addictions via telehealth to more effectively reach those in need of treatment.