Archives: Telehealth

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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

New Telehealth Bill in Congress

On February 2, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill, S. 2484 (CONNECT for Health Act), to expand the scope of Medicare reimbursements for telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services. (An identical bill, H.R. 4442 was introduced in the House on February 3.) If enacted, the bill would waive, for certain providers, existing … 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

Several States Enact Telehealth Parity Laws in 2015

* Gabriel Kohan is a summer associate and student at Harvard Law School.         States are continuing to debate the role telehealth services should play in the health care system. Thus far in 2015, several States have enacted parity laws requiring that certain telehealth services be reimbursed to the same extent as in-person services. While on … Continue Reading

FDA Regulation of mHealth Updates

At the Food Drug and Law Institute’s annual conference on April 21, 2015, Bakul Patel, Associate Director for Digital Health, Office of Center Director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), held a discussion of “FDA Regulation of Mobile Health/Medical Applications.”  As we discussed in a previous post (see here), there have already been several … Continue Reading
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