Teleheath Flexibilities to Remain in Effect After Public Health Emergency Ends in May
The Biden administration plans to end the public health emergency (PHE) declarations related to COVID-19 on May 11, which means that some flexibilities implemented in response to the PHE thus expire at that time. However, with respect to telehealth, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 extends certain flexibilities for Medicare patients through December 31, 2024. These include the ability for Medicare beneficiaries to receive services via telehealth and for such services to be furnish via audio-only communications technology.
A list of flexibilities related to the PHE and provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for physicians and other clinicians is available here.
- CMS clarified that temporary telehealth services added during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will continue either for an extension period of 151 days after the end of the PHE or through the end of Calendar Year 2023.
- Telehealth services provided in the office setting will continue to be paid at the non-facility rate (higher payment) through the end of the year in which the PHE ends or the end of Calendar Year 2023.
- CMS will not implement new codes for remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) as initially proposed.
- Medicare Hospital Outpatient Services: CMS finalized a permanent policy allowing clinical staff of hospital outpatient departments including Critical Access Hospitals to provide remote behavioral health services to patients in their homes.
Information on telehealth flexibilities is available here. We will continue to track this and other issues and keep you posted.
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