On May 5, 2011, CMS published a final rule revising the hospital conditions of participation (COP) related to the credentialing and privileging of physicians who provide telemedicine services. CMS includes both teleradiology (non-simultaneous) services and telehealth (simultaneous) services within the definition of telemedicine. In short, the final rule allows the governing body of a hospital or critical access hospital (CAH) to rely upon the credentialing and privileging decisions made by a distant-site hospital or telemedicine entity when making its own decisions on privileges for the individual distant-site physicians and practitioners providing such services. Certain conditions must be met under this rule, including a written agreement with the distant-site hospital or telemedicine entity to ensure that the distant-site entity, acting as a contractor of services, furnishes its services in a manner that enables the hospital or CAH to comply with all applicable COPs and standards for the contracted services, including the credentialing and privileging requirements regarding its physicians and practitioners providing telemedicine services. The rule is effective July 5, 2011.