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CMS wants to make home health telemedicine permanent

Infinity Rehab Dive Brief:

CMS proposed a rule on Thursday that would make looser restrictions on home health providers’ use of telehealth permanent after the pandemic.

Home health agencies will be able to “continue to utilize telecommunications technologies in providing care to beneficiaries under the Medicare home health benefit beyond the COVID-19” emergency, such as remote patient monitoring, CMS said in a fact sheet . However, the technology must be outlined in the care plan, tied to a specific treatment goal and related to the skilled services being provided.

The Trump administration is also looking to change payment rates for home health providers that would increase Medicare payments by 2.6%, or roughly $540 million, for the 2021 calendar year.

Dive Insight:

The Trump administration has rolled back restrictions to telehealth use since March, making it much easier for patients to see their doctors while complying with stay-at-home orders. Adoption of virtual care has skyrocketed as a result and, facing supportive consumers, providers and telecommunications vendors , HHS is looking into what regulatory flexibilities can remain post-national emergency.McKinsey estimates roughly 20% of all Medicare, Medicaid and commercial outpatient, office and home healthcare spending could eventually be digitized .Under Thursday’s proposed […]

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