The Center for Connected Health Policy has released their State by state status report on telehealth. Click below to keep informed about telehealth-related laws, regulation and Medicaid programs in your state.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-For-Service will pay for during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE). CMS is also providing additional support to state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their efforts to expand access to telehealth.
Expanding Medicare Telehealth Services
For the first time using a new expedited process, CMS is adding 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth services list since the publication of the May 1, 2020, COVID-19 Interim Final Rule with comment period (IFC). Medicare will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these newly added telehealth services effective immediately, and for the duration of the PHE. The list of these newly added services is available at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/Telehealth/Telehealth-Codes.
In the May 1 COVID-19 IFC, CMS modified the process for adding or deleting services from the Medicare telehealth services list to allow for expedited consideration of additional telehealth services during the PHE outside of rulemaking. This update to the Medicare telehealth services list builds on the efforts CMS has already taken to increase Medicare beneficiaries’ access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 PHE.
Preliminary Medicaid and CHIP Data Snapshot on Telehealth Utilization and Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit Supplement
In an effort to provide greater transparency on telehealth access in Medicaid and CHIP, CMS is releasing, for the first time, a preliminary Medicaid and CHIP data snapshot on telehealth utilization during the PHE. This snapshot shows, among other things, that there have been more than 34.5 million services delivered via telehealth to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries between March and June of this year, representing an increase of more than 2,600% when compared to the same period from the prior year. The data also shows that adults ages 19-64 received the most services delivered via telehealth, although there was substantial variance across both age groups and states.
To further drive telehealth, CMS is releasing a new supplement to its State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit: Policy Considerations for States Expanding Use of Telehealth, COVID-19 Version that provides numerous new examples and insights into lessons learned from states that have implemented telehealth changes. The updated supplemental information is intended to help states strategically think through how they explain and clarify to providers and other stakeholders which policies are temporary or permanent. It also helps states identify services that can be accessed through telehealth, which providers may deliver those services, the ways providers may use in order to deliver services through telehealth, as well as the circumstances under which telehealth can be reimbursed once the PHE expires.
The toolkit includes approaches and tools states can use to communicate with providers on utilizing telehealth for patient care. It updates and consolidates in one place the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and resources for states to consider as they begin planning beyond the temporary flexibilities provided in response to the pandemic.
To view the Medicaid and CHIP data snapshot on telehealth utilization during the PHE, please visit: https://www.medicaid.gov/resources-for-states/downloads/medicaid-chip-beneficiaries-COVID-19-snapshot-data-through-20200630.pdf.
September 01/2020: Ohio Medicaid has filed permanent rules to continue expanded telehealth options beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Department sited preliminary data in their decision-making, which showed that telehealth was very popular, especially for behavioral health services. "This permanent expansion of clinically appropriate telehealth services allows us to increase access to quality care while maintaining the fiscal sustainability and integrity of Ohio's Medicaid program," said Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran in a statement.
Read more about Ohio's telehealth expansion here
The NAME board elections will occur during the week of September 28, 2020. All prospective candidates must have all information submitted to the Nominating Committee by Friday, September 18, 2020. Please consider nominating yourself or another qualified candidate to a position.
This year, the following board positions are available for election:
• President Elect (serves as President Elect, President, and Immediate Past President – not required to be the conference chair as Immediate Past President) (must represent a State Education or State Medicaid agency)
• Region 1 – State Medicaid Representative
• Region 3 – Local Education Agency Representative (2-year term expiring in 2022)
• At-Large – State Medicaid Representative
As a Board member, you will serve a 3 year term (except where noted) and your responsibilities include: attendance at the monthly Board meetings via conference call; in-person attendance at the Board meeting and Long Range Planning meeting immediately following the NAME conference; and participation on one of the NAME committees.
If you are interested in running for any of these positions, please go to the following link:
Click Here for Name Nomination Form
Please be watching your email for more updates and be sure to nominate candidates and vote!
On June 9, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released details on how the Department intends to disburse funding to Medicaid providers from the provider relief fund.
Key details on the Medicaid awards:
The Council of Administrators for Special Education/Let’s Go Learn has passed along the PDF slide deck from their latest webinar, Navigating Special Education and Remote Learning. In addition to the webinar, you can also learn more about Let's Go Learn by visiting, letsgolearn.com.
On April 3, 2020, The Healthy Student's, Promising Futures Collaborative held a conference call on what states are doing around the delivery of school health services during the COVID-19 Pandemic. To view the resources that were shared, click on the link below:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Education released the December 2019 Update on the Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) And the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) To Student Health Records. Please Click here to view the report in its entirety.
On March 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a State Health Official letter describing required access to mental health and substance use disorder services for children and pregnant women enrolled in standalone CHIP programs, as required under Section 5022 of the SUPPORT Act.
These provisions, which became effective October 24, 2019, require child health and pregnancy related assistance to cover mental health services and behavioral health services necessary to prevent, diagnose, and treat a broad range of mental health symptoms and disorders. CMS interprets the coverage requirements to include all developmental and behavioral health related screenings and preventive services recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics' Bright Futures periodicity schedule and any services with a grade of A or B under the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. CMS also provides a set of validated behavioral health screening tools that would satisfy the screening requirement.
Lastly, in order to meet the statutory implementation deadline of October 24, 2019, CMS indicates that states needing to make changes to a standalone CHIP program must file a CHIP State Plan Amendment no later than the end of the state fiscal year that includes that date.
Several states are now taking advantage of a 2014 policy change allowing school-based clinics and providers to bill Medicaid for care provides to children on the Medicaid rolls. Now that they can bill Medicaid, more schools will be able to provide a range of services to students through Medicaid, including managing chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and food allergies; mental health and addiction treatment; and dental, vision, hearing, and speech services.
The full article is available here.