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Senate health chair lays out two COVID-19 telehealth changes he wants permanent

18 Jun 2020 10:01 AM | AIMHI Admin (Administrator)

Modern Healthcare source article | Comments courtesy of Matt Zavadsky

Interesting potential developments – the telemedicine waivers have helped a lot of EMS agencies bring innovation to their communities… May be a good opportunity for EMS to weigh in on EMS-specific interventions when the white paper is open for comment.

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Senate health chair lays out two COVID-19 telehealth changes he wants permanent

RACHEL COHRS  

June 17, 2020

 

 

Senate health committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said on Wednesday that he wants to make permanent two telehealth changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic: nixing the so-called originating site rule and expanding the scope of reimbursable services.

 

Alexander laid out his wish list at a hearing on the issue scheduled weeks before lawmakers are expected to begin negotiations on another COVID-19 relief package.

 

Pre-coronavirus policy dictated that patients had to live in a rural area and access telehealth services at a doctor's office or clinic. But because of temporary changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, patients can receive care anywhere in the country, and can be seen remotely from their homes.

 

Alexander also indicated support for Medicare and Medicaid's expansion to cover nearly twice as many telehealth services. The temporary changes also allowed Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics to use telehealth services.

 

Many of the telehealth changes made on a temporary basis extend throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. The current designation is scheduled to end in July, but it could be renewed.

 

But Alexander said he doesn't support extending waivers for requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and didn't highlight pay parity as an issue of interest.

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