LATEST POLICY DEVELOPMENTS: CHANGES TO MEDICARE
This month, CMS finalized its “rural” geographical definition as it applies to telehealth in the Medicare program. Additionally, two new CPT codes were added to the list of reimbursable telehealth-delivered services, and the originating site facility fee increased.
NTRC-P’s fact sheet includes an overview of each telehealth-related Medicare change going into effect on January 1, 2014.
LATEST POLICY DEVELOPMENTS: HR 3303
Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Gene Green (D-TX), and Greg Walden (R-OR)’s “SOFTWARE Act of 2013” is a pending piece of federal legislation that will:
- Define and differentiate 'medical software,' 'clinical software,' and 'health software';
- Apply federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act regulations for 'devices' to 'medical software';
- Clarify that all three types of software are not included under the FDA's definition of a 'device.'
NTRC-P's fact sheet on HR 3303 includes a comparison of the bill's draft proposals and existing law, an analysis of the bill's key points, and a review of anticipated impacts if the bill is passed.
For more information on HR 3303, including a link to its full text, go to NTRC-P's Pending Legislation page for the bill.
NEHI Advises Best Tele-ICU Practices in Issue Brief
NEHI's issue brief, "Emerging Best Practices for Tele-ICU Care Nationally," expertly guides health care practitioners and administrators in making “tele-ICU coverage more scalable and accessible to more hospitals and more beds.” The full report also mentions John Muir Health, a regional medical center involved in CCHP and NEHI’s Tele-ICU Assessment Project collaboration.
LATEST POLICY DEVELOPMENTS: HR 3306
Congressmen Gregg Harper (R-MS), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Peter Welch (D-VT)’s “Telehealth Enhancement Act” is a pending piece of federal legislation that will:
- Incentivize Medicare payments for reduced hospital readmissions;
- Add to the Medicare-eligible telehealth originating sites list;
- Expand Medicare geographical eligibility parameters;
- Allow Medicare to reimburse for store-and-forward if it is furnished or received at a CAH or sole community hospital;
- Allow Medicaid to use remote patient monitoring for patients with chronic or long-term diseases;
- Allow Medicaid to use telehealth for high-risk pregnancies or births;
- Add to the definition of “health care provider” for Universal Services Support;
- Add telehealth and remote patient monitoring to the National Pilot Program on Payment Bundling;
- Allow ACOs to include telehealth and remote patient monitoring.
NTRC-P's fact sheet on HR 3306 includes a comparison of the bill's draft proposals and existing law, an analysis of the bill's key points, and a review of anticipated impacts if the bill is passed.
For more information on HR 3306, including a link to its full text, go to NTRC-P's Pending Legislation page for the bill.
Best Practices Series: Indiana's Otis R. Bowen Center for Human Services
CCHP’s Best Practices Series features exemplary telehealth programs throughout the United States, whose approach and application of telehealth represents a useful reference for providers, policymakers, insurers, and other stakeholders interested in telehealth.
The Bowen Center serves a five-county area in northeastern Indiana with a staff of approximately five hundred people spread among nine sites, eight of which are located in rural mental health provider shortage areas. Driving time between sites can exceed two hours. With the help of the Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center, the Bowen Center implemented telemental health clinics with advanced practice nurses (APNs) at two of its most rural locations. These providers were already making weekly trips to multiple clinic sites, providing medication evaluations and medication management follow-up services. The telehealth program made it possible for these APNs to provide these services via live, interactive two-way video at the two most remote clinic sites while continuing to travel to more local sites for in-person service provision... Read more here.