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Telehealth Policy Update

By March 25, 2022No Comments

Source: The National Law Review

There have been several significant developments with regard to Federal government telehealth policy. These include the recently enacted appropriations bill funding the Federal government for the balance of the fiscal year, a Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General data brief, the MedPAC annual report to Congress and statements by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Appropriations Law

On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed H.R. 2471, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022” [Public Law 117-103].  The new law authorizes the Telehealth Network Grant Program at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to include providers of prenatal, labor care, birthing, and postpartum care services.

  • H.R. 2471 contains provisions dealing with telehealth flexibility extensions.
  • Removes geographic requirements and expands origination sites for telehealth services.
  • Expands practitioners eligible to furnish telehealth services.
  • Extends telehealth services for Federally Qualified Health Centers and rural health clinics.
  • Delays the in-person requirements under Medicare for mental health services furnished through telehealth and telecommunications technology.
  • Allows for furnishing of audio-only telehealth services.
  • Use of telehealth to conduct face-to-face encounter prior to recertification of eligibility for hospice care during the PHE.
  • Extends the flexibility allowing a high deductible health plan to cover telehealth benefit (for months beginning after March 31, 2022, through the end of 2022) pre-deductible and still qualify as a HDHP with a Health Savings Account.

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