The widespread adoption of telehealth legislation is likely coming as a result of the current pandemic. A 25-page toolkit that was developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) discusses issues that include identifying patient populations for telehealth, provider eligibility, coverage and reimbursement policies, technical requirements and pediatric considerations.
“Although telehealth services have been available in many states for decades, the recent public health emergency (PHE) resulting from COVID-19 has accelerated the interest in service delivery through telehealth,” the toolkit explains.
“The purpose of this document is to identify for states the policy topics that should be addressed in order to facilitate widespread adoption of telehealth services, especially when they reside outside the immediate authority of a Medicaid or CHIP program.”
“While not all patient interactions can be delivered through telehealth, our clinicians on the frontlines need every tool in their arsenal to fight this invisible enemy,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a press release.
“I’m urging states to use this toolkit to make sure our Medicaid patients, particularly our children, can continue to receive needed care from the safety of their homes,” Verma wrote.
This toolkit is the latest in a series of resources and emergency orders released by federal officials to expand telehealth and mHealth adoption during the COVID-19 emergency.
CMS has expanded access to Medicare telehealth services. Healthcare providers are now able to provide more services to beneficiaries via this method, so clinicians can attend to their patients while mitigating the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.
Under the public health emergency, all beneficiaries across the country can get Medicare telehealth services. Clinicians can provide telehealth services to new or established patients.
Many states have also enacted their own emergency regulations around connected health, focusing primarily on license portability and Medicaid coverage.
Among the organizations keeping track of each state’s actions are the Center for Connected Health Policy and the Federation of State Medical Boards.
Reference: mHealth Intelligence (April 24, 2020) “CMS Unveils COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit for Medicaid, CHIP Programs”