ATA responds to CMS final rule making some telehealth coverage permanent

ATA responds to CMS final rule making some telehealth coverage permanent

The American Telemedicine Association on Wednesday issued a response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services final rule regarding a permanent expansion to some Medicare telehealth services.  

Although the rule represented an important step forward for telehealth, the ATA argued that some progress is still necessary concerning remote monitoring services.  

“While we appreciate the progress made in this final physician fee schedule, we are disappointed that CMS did not heed concerns expressed by the medical community – clearly outlined in the ATA’s comments on the draft rule – about certain provisions related to how remote patient monitoring services are to be covered by the PFS,” said ATA CEO Ann Mond Johnson in a statement.  

“Moving forward, we urge CMS to reconsider its approach to some aspect of remote patient monitoring coverage based on the realities of clinical practice,“ added Johnson.  

WHY IT MATTERS  

The CMS final rule, released earlier this week, allowed nine telehealth benefits to be permanently covered by Medicare within the confines of rural regions – including group psychotherapy, some home visits and cognitive assessment.   

Nearly 60 other services will be temporarily extended until the end of the calendar year in which the public health emergency expires.  

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said federal legislation is needed to make virtual care permanent after the pandemic in non-rural areas or other regions where it is already allowed.  

The ATA echoed this call, drawing particular attention to the Protecting Access to Post

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