MeriTalk: Feds Must Work to Overcome Telehealth Obstacles to Realize Full Potential for Medicare

“The use of telehealth skyrocketed throughout 2020, and while helped stem the spread of COVID-19, its increased use laid bare the logistical and regulatory challenges facing telehealth.”

“In a House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing today, experts shared what obstacles are limiting the continued use of telehealth for Medicare after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Specifically, the witnesses highlighted regulatory issues, licensure concerns, and the need to streamline reimbursement for healthcare providers.”

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were strict regulations as to when telehealth could be used for Medicare. However, many of those rules were suspended as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Early in the pandemic, the Federal government worked to add telehealth flexibilities to the Medicare program. These changes allowed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to broaden Medicare telehealth coverage during the pandemic.”

“Dr. Jack Resneck, Jr., a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Medical Association (AMA), lauded telehealth as ‘a key component to the future of Medicare.’”

“While Resneck heaped praise on telehealth, he turned a critical eye to the issue of physician licensure. He explained that early in the pandemic states temporarily allowed physicians to practice across state lines by waiving licensure or creating a streamlined licensure or registration process. He argued against this and said healthcare providers must be licensed in the state where the patient is located when providing telehealth services…” Read the full article here.

Source: Feds Must Work to Overcome Telehealth Obstacles to Realize Full Potential for Medicare – By Kate Polit, March 2, 2021. MeriTalk.

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