COVID-19 Regulatory Alert: Medicare Telehealth Services Restrictions Lifted
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance on Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar’s waiver authority that broadens access to Medicare telehealth services. Effective March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, CMS will:
- Waive geographic restrictions, meaning patients can receive telehealth services in non-rural areas;
- Waive originating site restrictions, meaning patients can receive telehealth services from their home;
- Allow use of telephones that have audio and video-capabilities; stored information
- Encounter has to be patient initiated
- Allow reimbursement for any telehealth services “covered code”, including Office Visits (99201-99215), even if unrelated to COVID-19 diagnosis, screening, or treatment; and
- Will not enforce the established patient relationship requirement, as determined by CPT Guidelines that a patient see a provider within the last three years.
The Medicare telemedicine healthcare provider fact sheet can be found at:
The Medicare FAQ on these telehealth waivers can be found at:
The Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 notice can be found at:
Expect more updates on this in the days and weeks ahead!
How To Register
Please join Terry Fletcher BS, CPC, CCC, CEMC, CCS, CCS-P, CMC, CMSCS, ACS-CA, SCP-CA, QMGC, QMCRC, QMPM for an on-demand webinar on how to implement these changes and more.
You can register for this session by clicking the button below and scrolling to the down to the register section.
Note: This webinar has been updated and replaced by Telehealth OnDemand Webinar: CMS and Other Payer Updates which you can register for at the same link below.
BS, CPC, CCC, CEMC, SCP-CA, ACS-CA, CCS-P, CCS, CMSCS, CMCS, CMC, QMGC, QMCRC
Ms. Terry Fletcher is a healthcare coding and billing consultant based in Southern California. With over 30-years experience, Ms. Fletcher teaches over 100 specialty coding Seminars, Teleconferences and Webinars every year. You can find her CodeCast™ podcast series, focusing on Physician Coding, Billing, Reimbursement, compliance, and Medical industry revenue opportunities, on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Google Play.