Eye on Telehealth - The Month in Review: November 2020

December 4, 2020

The month of November saw few substantial regulatory changes on the federal and state levels regarding issues of telehealth. However, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did issue additional and/or updated guidance and reports focusing largely on rural health. We found the following to be informative for practitioners who provide services to individuals in rural areas:

  • Rural Crosswalk: CMS Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19 – On November 6, 2020, CMS updated previous guidance outlining telehealth and other virtual service waivers that affect clinicians practicing in a number of types of facilities. Much of the updates to this document relate to the addition of covered telehealth services and COVID-19-related payments announced in October. We recommend that providers continue to monitor this document to ensure that they are operating under the latest guidelines
  • Rethinking Rural Health: FY 2020 Year in Review – CMS issued this report identifying recent and potential trends in rural health, emphasizing issues that have arisen in the areas of COVID-19, regulatory activities, and payment policies. Click here for the full article.
  • Rural-Urban Disparities in Health Care in Medicare – In this report, CMS provided an analysis of health care data collected in previous years that led to the conclusion that while rural residents reported experiences with care that were similar to the experiences reported by urban residents, rural residents often had worse results for clinical care than urban residents. The analysis also provides additional detail on important racial and ethnic considerations, with evidence to suggest that race/ethnicity can be a factor in the patient experience and/or quality of care provided. 

As 2020 winds down and a new administration prepares to take control, we expect additional news impacting health care providers utilizing telehealth. Should you have any questions on this or any related guidance, please feel free to contact any of the attorneys in our Health Care practice for additional information.