Archives: Telehealth

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China Expands Regulations on e-Healthcare Issues

China continues to advance policy supporting e-healthcare services and resources.  On September 14, 2018, National Health Commission (“NHC”) and the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (“NATCM”) publicly released three new rules on internet based medical services and telemedicine.  These rules cover the areas of e-diagnosis (“e-Diagnostic Rules”), internet-based hospitals (“e-Hospital Rules”) and telemedicine services … Continue Reading

Medicare Advantage Organizations Provided New Opportunities to Offer Telehealth Benefits

Earlier this year, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), which incorporates provisions from the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017 and improves access to telehealth services in Medicare Advantage. Pub. L. No. 115-123. Among other provisions impacting Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs), … Continue Reading

U.S. FCC Repeals 2015 Net Neutrality Rules; Impact on Digital Health Solutions Debated

Today, as expected, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted an order repealing the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules and changing the legal framework that governs Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”). The vote split along party lines, with the agency’s three Republicans voting in favor and its two Democrats dissenting. Once today’s order goes into effect, … Continue Reading

European Cloud in Health Advisory Council Calls For Review of eHealth Rules and Ethics of Medical Data Re-Use

On May 11, 2017, the European Cloud in Health Advisory Council (ECHAC) – a group of healthcare organizations, technology companies and patient representatives  –  launched its second whitepaper focused on use of data to improve health outcomes and delivery of care. ECHAC launched the whitepaper at an eHealth Week 2017 session attended by ECHAC participants and … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Bill To Test Telehealth Services for Medicare Beneficiaries

Last week, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced new legislation to test expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services.  The Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow selected, eligible hospitals to offer telehealth services in cooperation with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation … Continue Reading

Vote on HHS Secretary Nomination Expected as Early as this Week; Nomination Hearings Included Little Discussion of Health IT

The full Senate could vote as early as this week on the nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In January, two Senate Committees held hearings on Rep. Price’s nomination. These hearings focused largely on Rep. Price’s stance on repeal of the Affordable … Continue Reading

Update on Telemedicine Parity

We have followed (here and here) the adoption of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (“IMLC”) by various states and the subsequent formation of a commission under the IMLC.  We believe that the IMLC presents one promising avenue for the proliferation of telemedicine.  In this post, we explore another initiative designed to encourage the development of … Continue Reading

New Developments in the Implementation of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC)

In July of 2015 we noted that nine states had enacted laws to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.  We described this cooperative program intended to allow physicians to obtain expedited licenses to practice in multiple states.  This would facilitate the delivery of telemedicine across state lines; physicians are generally prohibited from practicing, even remotely, … Continue Reading

HHS Proposes Rule to Increase ONC Review and Oversight of Certified Health IT

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently proposed a rule to enhance ONC oversight and accreditation of health IT.  Under the rule, the ONC’s primary goal would be to work with health IT developers to remedy any non-conformities with certified health … Continue Reading

CMS Acting Administrator Prioritizes Simplicity and Interoperability In Implementing MACRA

This week, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt set forth guiding principles that CMS will consider in crafting regulations implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).  In January, Administrator Slavitt announced the end of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Meaningful Use Program, which would instead be replaced by … Continue Reading

New CMS Rule Permits Home Health Face-to-Face Encounters to Occur Through Telehealth Technology

Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule implementing a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires a Medicaid enrollee seeking coverage for home health services to first meet face-to-face with a practitioner.  The final rule confirms that the face-to-face encounter requirement “may occur through telehealth, as implemented … Continue Reading

House Legislation Would Modestly Expand Use of Technology in Treating Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Last month, the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee approved the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015.  The Act is designed to improve access to treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and it includes several provisions to modestly expand and improve the use of technology in delivering … Continue Reading

Health Care Providers Continue to Lag Behind Patient Demand for Digital Communications

While Americans continue the trend towards replacing the traditional phone call with email and texts, health care providers have yet to catch on when interacting with their patients. A recent survey by Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives found that less than a third of Americans have access to digital communications with their physicians: The survey found … Continue Reading

The AMA’s Telehealth Services Workgroup Convened for its Foundational Meeting to Discuss the Development of New Telemedicine Billing Codes

On October 8, 2015, the American Medical Association’s new Telehealth Services Workgroup met for the first time, as it began to consider ways to expand current telehealth service Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Codes.  The AMA has recognized that the CPT code set must be updated to accurately reflect the telehealth services provided to patients, particularly … Continue Reading

HHS Launches Portal Seeking Questions from Mobile Health Application Developers

A new post on Covington’s Inside Medical Devices blog discusses a new portal recently launched by HHS seeking questions from mobile health application developers.  The platform allows for individuals to both submit and review questions on the HIPAA implications of these mobile health applications.  To read the post, click here.… Continue Reading

Multistakeholder Group Seeks Comment on Draft Framework for IoT Device Manufactures

Last week, our colleague Libbie Cantor published a post on our InsidePrivacy blog regarding the Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) release of a draft framework of best practices for Internet of Things device manufacturers and developers.  This draft framework applies to, among other things, eHealth technology, such as wearable fitness and health technologies.  The OTA is seeking comments on … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Risks with Connected Devices

Earlier this week, our colleague Bianca Nunes published a post on cybersecurity risks with connected devices on Covington’s InsideMedicalDevices blog.  This post describes the FDA’s increasing focus on promoting cybersecurity, as well as a draft practice guide for securing health records maintained on mobile devices published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).… Continue Reading

Nine States Join Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

* Alex Langton is a summer associate and student at Georgetown University Law Center. In May, three states joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, in addition to the six states that had already joined.  A sufficient number of states have now joined to trigger implementation of the Compact through the creation of the “Interstate Medical Licensure … Continue Reading

Iowa Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Use of Telemedicine to Prescribe Abortion-Inducing Drugs

* Brian Kempfer is a summer associate and student at the University of Michigan Law School. In a previous post, we noted a case pending before the Iowa Supreme Court challenging an Iowa regulation that prohibited doctors from using telemedicine to prescribe “abortion-inducing drugs,” sometimes called abortifacients.  Last Friday, in Planned Parenthood of the Heartland v. Iowa Board … Continue Reading

21st Century Cures Act with EHR and Telehealth Provisions Passes Through Committee with Flying Colors

* Jack Lund is a summer associate and student at the University of Virginia School of Law        The “21st Century Cures Act” (Cures) cleared its first major hurdle last month when the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously in favor of the legislation.  Among other things, Cures helps to modernize Medicare by … Continue Reading
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