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CMS Aids in Acceleration of Broader Telehealth Adoption

With the rapid use of telehealth resulting from the pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new toolkit to help the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) accelerate their adoption of telehealth coverage during this time. The toolkit is designed to walk states through identifying policies that they will need to address to facilitate virtual health services as well as what issues or obstacles they should be considering as they implement or expand their usage of telehealth.

As states navigate their virtual health needs and coverage policies, they need to review the patient populations that are eligible for these services, what coverage and reimbursement policies are or will be, and what special considerations may be needed for pediatric patients. States also need to evaluate whether a practitioner or provider can appropriately deliver care using virtual health. Are there any limitations or training needed for the delivery of such services? If the medical professional can provide care in this manner, issues such as eligibility, licensure, credentialing, and payments need to be factored in next. Additionally, technology requirements need to be considered as there are a variety of options that fall within the the virtual health category – video chat, audio-only communications, and remote patient monitoring to name a few.

“While not all patient interactions can be delivered through telehealth, our clinicians on the frontlines need every tool in their arsenal to fight this invisible enemy,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in the news release. “I’m urging states to use this toolkit to make sure our Medicaid patients, particularly our children, can continue to receive needed care from the safety of their homes.”

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