Eye on Telehealth - The Month in Review: October 2020

November 6, 2020

By: Mara D. Afzali

While things were relatively quiet at the state level, this month saw additional changes to reimbursement as well as updated resources and data from Centers for Medicare & Medicade Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Below are some key highlights from the month of October 2020. 

Additional Funding to Expand Telepractice Across New York State

On October 7, 2020, New York State announced its authorization of a second round of awards to be given for the purchase and installation of equipment for telehealth applications in treating addiction. A press release from the governor’s office explained that over 600 Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) program sites across the state are authorized to deliver telepractice services through the use of telephone and video technology, and that the additional investments of more than $423,000 will help ensure that underserved communities have better access to life-saving addiction treatment services. 

CMS Announces Expanded List of Covered Telehealth Services and Updates Telehealth Toolkit 

On October 14, 2020 CMS expanded the list of telehealth services that will be covered by Medicare Fee-For-Service during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Newly eligible services include those in relation to: cardiac rehabilitation (93797, 93798, G0422, G0423), electronic analysis of implanted neurostimulator pulse generator/transmitter (95970, 95971. 95972, 95983, 95984). According to CMS, over 135 services to the Medicare telehealth services list have been added since the beginning of the public health emergency. The full list of Medicare Telehealth Services can be found here

Additionally, CMS announced its release of a new supplement to its Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) telehealth toolkit designed to assist beneficiaries and front-line workers. An updated supplement, a Medicaid and CHIP “snapshot,” and additional resources were also announced. Please see the links below to for additional information on both general and COVID-19-related updates.

CDC Report – Trends in the Use of Telehealth During COVID-19

The CDC published an article on October 30, 2020 titled “Trends in the Use of Telehealth During the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic – United State, January – March 2020.” This report may be of interest to those who are tracking the use, efficacy, and implications of telehealth in responding to the pandemic. 

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.