March 24, 2020
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”) recently released two comprehensive toolkits on telehealth offering guidance for both general practitioners as well as providers treating patients with End-Stage Renal Disease. Responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis, CMS has expanded access to Medicare telehealth services in an effort to allow beneficiaries the ability to be treated outside of standard healthcare facilities. This expansion of benefits is part of a broader effort to provide all patients, and specifically those patients in the high-risk population, with access to care. The toolkits provide electronic links to verified sources of information on telehealth and telemedicine. The information provides education on the general concept of telehealth, assistance on selecting telemedicine vendors, initiating telemedicine programs, monitoring patients remotely, and establishing telehealth documentation tools.
The Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services previously issued its Notification of a relaxation in certain HIPAA rules related to telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis and FAQ’s on telehealth and HIPAA.