As discussed in our client alert, recent legal developments have greatly expanded funding for and access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the changes instituted by HHS are expanded Medicare coverage and payment for services, reduced or waived cost-sharing obligations for physicians, and loosening of the HIPAA enforcement policies for covered entities (which can now use any non-public facing platform, e.g. Skype, to deliver telehealth services).
In addition, CMS released new guidance to help state Medicaid agencies better understand how to cover and pay for telehealth services, as well as waived a number of billing rules to allow providers to be reimbursed for services provided. This was accompanied by commercial payors opting to lessen or waive out of pocket costs for COVID-19-related telehealth services.
While these are significant changes impacting the delivery of telehealth services, it’s likely that there will be additional legislative and regulatory changes as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.