Navigating the Use of Telemedicine During the COVID-19 State of Emergency

As part of the emergency measures to address COVID-19, all levels of government are facilitating, and even encouraging, the use of telemedicine technology. The primary goal, of course, is to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to and from patients who would otherwise present for in-person services. The use of telemedicine is also providing an opportunity to reduce in-person patient volumes and also to provide health care providers with the potential means of rendering patient care from home. Join Hall Render attorneys Chris Eades, Mike Batt and Regan Tankersley for this telemedicine webinar.

In response to the current state of emergency, CMS has expanded the potential for Medicare reimbursement. Many state Medicaid programs and commercial payors have followed suit. HIPAA enforcement with respect to certain non-compliant technology has been relaxed. The DEA has made an emergency exception related to telemedicine prescriptions. State governors have issued emergency orders with respect to licensure and telemedicine requirements, and certain professional licensing boards have issued similar guidance.

While the measures taken to date represent unprecedented steps forward, these measures are also understandably creating confusion for providers. The expanded billing requirements for eligible telemedicine services differ from one payor to the next.  These billing requirements often do not accurately reflect the applicable professional practice standards. There additionally remains variability among the states in relation to licensure exceptions, prescription requirements and applicable telemedicine exceptions, which, in certain instances, are also more restrictive than exceptions made at the federal level.

This webinar highlights the particular federal and type of state level actions that have been taken to facilitate the use of telemedicine during this emergency period. As part of this discussion, we will address how these various measures fit together – highlighting where these measures align and where they potentially do not. We will also more specifically address considerations for the professional practice of telemedicine, such as licensure, informed consent and the prescription of medications, as well as particular considerations for reimbursement and the appropriate use of telemedicine platforms and related technology.

Slides are available here.