The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering extending waivers on telehealth coverage beyond the coronavirus health crisis, according to a report by Inside Health Policy.
The agency said an extension of the relaxed Medicare restrictions for telehealth coverage would require approval from Congress but its considering possibly extending them past the coronavirus pandemic.
“CMS has already shown its commitment to expanding access to telehealth within our authority and is continuing to think carefully about what recent changes should be continued after the public health emergency is lifted,” a spokesperson told the news organization.
“We will be assessing this fully after we get past the pandemic, with a focus on making sure that we are leveraging the latest technology and modernizing the Medicare program to provide high-quality care,” they added.
The federal government in March announced that it removed Medicare restrictions for telehealth coverage nationwide and temporarily relaxed HIPAA obligations for providers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move opened the door for doctors to connect with Medicare patients virtually instead of in person.
CMS followed the move in May by giving therapy providers the green light to provide Medicare telehealth services to nursing home residents during the pandemic.