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Congress Facing Pressure to Pass Telehealth Bill for Senior Care

Connected care advocates are pressuring Congress to pass the RUSH Act, which aims to increase telehealth and telemedicine services in senior care facilities.

By Eric Wicklund

– Connected care advocates are lobbying Congress to pass the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act of 2018, which aims to reduce rehospitalizations at qualified skilled nursing facilities by giving them more incentives to use telemedicine and telehealth to improve patient care.

And they want it done soon.

Among those pushing for passage of the bill is Health IT Now. The broad-based coalition fired off a letter to lawmakers last…

Medicare Expands Payment for Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Services

 

Through several recently published rules, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making it possible for Medicare beneficiaries to have greater access to health care services provided remotely through telehealth or “telehealth-like” methods and to implement telehealth provisions included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA). The recently posted Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) and home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) final rules and the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Benefit proposed rule all included provisions that establish or would establish new rules concerning…

5 Telehealth Insights from CMS’ Seema Verma

Telehealth is changing the face of healthcare, and Medicare must adapt, said the CMS administrator.

Innovation is vital to the evolution and sustainability of the American healthcare system, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to be part of the transformation, according to its administrator.

In a speech on Thursday to the Alliance for Connected Care Telehealth Policy Forum for Health Systems, CMS Administrator Seema Verma spoke about how “relentless innovation is a crucial driver in creating value across all industries.” She addressed the role of telehealth in the future of healthcare and reimbursement…

CMS Issues Final Medicare PFS Rule for CY 2019

On November 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released in pre-publication form the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Final Rule for Calendar Year (CY) 2019 (PFS Final Rule) . The PFS Final Rule contains a number of significant changes, including:

• providing for reimbursement for communication technology-based services and expanding access to telehealth services by allowing for reimbursement for acute stroke telehealth services;
• streamlining requirements for evaluation and management (E/M) visits to reduce administrative and regulatory burden associated with documentation of the visits and changing payment guidelines to create a single payment rate for levels 2…

CMS Code Gives Docs a Chance to Use Store-and-Forward Telehealth

Beginning next year, CMS will reimburse providers using store-and-forward telehealth (also known as asynchronous telehealth) to analyze and diagnose images sent to them from established patients.

By Eric Wicklund

– Healthcare providers looking for new ways to implement telehealth and telemedicine are getting a Christmas present from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: a new code for asynchronous (store-and-forward) telehealth services.

Tucked neatly into the 2019 Physicians Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program unveiled last month, HCPCS Code G2010 covers “Remote Evaluation of Pre-Recorded Patient Information.” The code, which goes into effect…

Medicare Telehealth Coverage—Ten Things

Health Update

Recognizing significant changes in healthcare practice, especially innovations in the active management and ongoing care of chronically ill patients, and patients’ desire to avoid unnecessary doctor visits, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on November 1, 2018 that includes reimbursement for a variety of virtual care services beginning on January 1, 2019. CMS established the following new, separately billable services: virtual check-in (HCPCS code G2012); remote evaluation of prerecorded patient information (HCPCS code G2010); and Interprofessional Internet Consultation…

Health Care Alert: CMS Rules Expand Use of Telehealth And Remote Patient Monitoring Under Medicare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published two rules designed to promote the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) under the Medicare program.

Telehealth Benefits under Medicare Advantage

On November 1, 2018, CMS published a proposed rule that (among other things) implements provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the BBA) authorizing reimbursement of additional telehealth services as basic benefits under Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

Generally, MA plans are health insurance policies offered by private companies that contract with CMS to provide coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. The benefits these plans offer…

CMS Gives Telehealth a Nudge With Coverage for Virtual Check-Ins

Included in last week’s 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program is reimbursement for virtual check-ins. Supporters say the new service will enable providers to adopt telehealth for convenient patient care.

By Eric Wicklund

– Last week’s release of The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program offered good news for providers looking to implement telemedicine for virtual check-ins.

While much of the attention was focused on expanded reimbursement for remote patient monitoring services, an overlooked section of the 2,378-page document detailed Medicare coverage for…

Exploring Changes to the Quality Payment Program in 2019

CMS recently finalized MACRA implementation updates for the Quality Payment Program’s third year, including new MIPS participation rules and Advanced APM options.

By Jacqueline LaPointe

– The final 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) rule contained a number of changes to evaluation and management (E/M) payment rates, site-neutral payments, and remote patient monitoring coverage. But the rule also included key MACRA implementation rules for the Quality Payment Program’s third year.

According to CMS, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is a bipartisan legislation signed into law on April 16, 2015. The…

Understanding Medicare’s New Remote Evaluation of Pre-Recorded Patient Information (Asynchronous Telemedicine)

Starting January 1, 2019, the Medicare program will cover certain medical services delivered via asynchronous telemedicine technologies. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just published the final rule for the 2019 Physician Fee Schedule, introducing a new code, officially titled Remote Evaluation of Pre-Recorded Patient Information”(HCPCS code G2010). This article provides the top 10 things to know about the new code and explains how it will work.

Frequently Asked Questions Medicare’s Remote Evaluation of Pre-Recorded Patient Information

1. What…

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