Archives: Telehealth

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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

House Bill Repealing the Medicare SGR Includes Telehealth Provisions

Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) with broad bipartisan support. MACRA would permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) for Medicare physician reimbursement and extend federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for two additional years. The legislation also includes three … Continue Reading

The Cyber Future of Long-Term Care: Applying Health Care Laws to Aging in Place Technologies

Earlier this month, the National Law Journal published its annual Special Report on Health Care Law. Included in this Special Report is an article written by CovingtonEHealth contributors Caroline Brown, Anna Kraus, and Phil Peisch, entitled, The Cyber Future of Long-Term Care: Applying Health Care Laws to Aging in Place Technologies. This article explores how … Continue Reading

New Accountable Care Organization Initiative Includes Expanded Medicare Telehealth Coverage

On March 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the “Next Generation” Medicare Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, which builds on the Pioneer ACO Model and the Medicare Shared Savings Program.  In what some consider to be an indication of increasing openness to the expansion of telehealth, CMS will allow Next … Continue Reading

EU Advisory Board Clarifies Scope of Health Data in Apps and Devices

Our colleague Monika Kuschewsky recently published a post on the InsidePrivacy blog describing how the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (Working Party), an independent EU advisory body on data protection and privacy, responded to a request from the European Commission made in the framework of the Commission’s mHealth initiative to clarify the definition of data … Continue Reading

Draft 21st Century CURES Bill Includes Telehealth Provisions

Telehealth legislation circulated earlier this month has been included in the draft House 21st Century CURES bill.  Groups commenting on the telehealth provision have generally supported the effort to expand telehealth services under Medicare, but are divided about whether the measure goes far enough. The “Advancing Telehealth Opportunities in Medicare” subtitle of the CURES bill … Continue Reading

Summary Report of European Commission’s mHealth Consultation Published

The European Commission has finally published its summary of 211 responses to its mobile health (“mHealth”) consultation.  The summary and original responses to the consultation have been made available on the Commission’s website at The consultation covered a broad range of important issues for mHealth, including legal frameworks, privacy and data protection, patient safety, … Continue Reading

FDA Publishes Draft Guidances Describing General Wellness Claims and Risk-Based Classification of Accessories

Our colleague and contributor Cassie Scherer just published a post on the InsideMedicalDevices blog analyzing today’s FDA draft guidances on the Center for Devices and Radiological Health’s (CDRH) policy regarding low risk general wellness products and regulation of medical device accessories.  Although the guidances are not solely focused on software, they provide further clarification to the rapidly developing and expanding mobile app and … Continue Reading

Welcome to Covington eHealth

While Covington eHealth is a new publication, lawyers at Covington & Burling LLP have been writing on topics related to eHealth for many years, including on other Covington blogs. Below is a selection of eHealth-related articles posted to other Covington blogs in the first half of 2014. We encourage you to visit our other sites … Continue Reading

CMS Expands Medicare Telehealth Coverage and Continues Support for Chronic Care Management Coverage; Notes Limitations of Current Law

As part of the October 31, 2014 final rule updating payment polices under the Medicare physician fee schedule, CMS continued its policy of allowing payment for non-face-to-face chronic care management services and also expanded the list of Medicare-covered telehealth services.  However, CMS declined to provide coverage for other proposed telehealth services, and the agency noted the limits … Continue Reading

Veterans Affairs Telehealth Services Climbs in FY2014

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that its national telehealth programs served more than 690,000 veterans, or 12 percent of the total VA healthcare population, in fiscal year 2014.  Patients using these telehealth programs were able to access more than 44 clinical specialties, including rehabilitation, primary care, mental health, and dermatology.  Telehealth visits … Continue Reading

Limits in Model Telemedicine Policy Spur Debate

In late April 2014, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), a non-profit organization representing state medical licensing boards, approved a model telemedicine policy for possible adoption by state medical boards.  The Model Policy for the Appropriate Use of Telemedicine Technologies in the Practice of Medicine sets forth guidelines for physicians using telemedicine technologies in … Continue Reading

Mobile Health in the United States and China

Last week, the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution presented a paper and hosted a panel discussion on how mobile technology can decrease the cost and improve the quality of health care in the United States and China.  The presenters noted, however, that significant policy and legal challenges face the telemedicine industry in … Continue Reading

Legal and Practical Challenges Surround Telehealth Implementation

Health care providers and other entities face a host of legal and practical challenges as they implement telehealth and telemedicine initiatives. For example, providers of telehealth services, and the entities creating or hosting telehealth platforms, must determine which federal and state privacy and security laws apply to them.  These laws, such as the federal Health … Continue Reading

Medicare Coverage of Telehealth Services: Current Law and Changes for 2014

Medicare Part B pays for certain health services furnished to rural beneficiaries via an “interactive telecommunications system”—a system that provides for real-time audio and video communication.  Among the covered services are office visits, certain behavioral health services, diabetes self-management training, and medical nutrition therapy.  The practitioner furnishing the service remotely (the “distant site”  provider) may … Continue Reading