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New CMS Toolkit Helps Advance Telehealth

In response to the COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and nursing home residents. A new toolkit from CMS can help states identify which aspects of their statutory and regulatory infrastructure may impede the rapid deployment of telehealth capabilities in their Medicaid program.  

State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit aggregates information and highlights questions that states may ask themselves when establishing new telehealth policy, such as: 

  • Patient populations eligible for telehealth: Federal rules allow Medicaid services to be delivered via telehealth across all populations. The toolkit will help states identify restrictions on telehealth eligibility, like only allowing coverage for beneficiaries who live in rural areas.
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  • Coverage and reimbursement policies: While telehealth may not be appropriate for all services, states should review services even if they have not traditionally been delivered in such a manner. Medicaid reimbursement rates also need to be adequate to facilitate care delivered through telehealth. Not all states have provided reimbursement parity with face to face encounters.
  • Providers and practitioners eligible to provide telehealth: The toolkit will help states evaluate whether state practice acts or regulations limit the ability for providers to deliver services through telehealth.
  • Technology requirements: Telehealth is much broader than two-way audio/visual communication. Other forms have always existed alongside what some people consider standard telehealth, such as remote patient monitoring, etc.  

To learn more, watch this 16-minute QuickCast that provides an overview of the recent CMS payment policies and regulatory flexibilities for Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring during COVID-19.

If you are looking to implement telehealth and remote patient monitoring, check out the Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring Selection Tool by LeadingAge CAST.

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