Telehealth – Archive
(11/30/21) HHS Dedicates $35M for Telehealth Expansion in Title X Family Planning
Following the expanded use of telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the US Department of Health and Human Services is delivering $35 million in relief funding to improve telehealth service from family planning providers. This relief funding was provided following successful widespread and accelerated use of telehealth among family planning programs during the pandemic.
(11/29/21) Telemedicine Will Remain Even As the COVID-19 Crisis Recedes
This article from The National Law Review takes a look at telemedicine as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and many policies that enabled the rapid expansion of the service are expiring. More than half of providers view telemedicine favorably, with utilization stabilized at 38 times pre-pandemic levels.
(11/22/21) Telehealth Should Be Lasting Care Mode, Not a Temporary Measure
An article form the American Medical Association highlights the importance of telehealth services in the long-term for many patients and providers, advocating for telehealth regulation to permanently enable the service in its expanded role following the COVID-19 pandemic.
(11/15/21) Telephone vs Video Visits During COVID-19: Safety-net Provider Perspectives
New research published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine offers a comparison of telephone-based and video-based telemedicine delivery in New York State during the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study focused on safety-net providers and found that telephone visits were conducted more frequently than video throughout the study duration.
(11/05/21) Senators Seek to Permanently Expand Telehealth Eligibility
A bipartisan group of senators are proposing legislation to permanently expand reimbursement eligibility for providers that was granted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this bill, physical therapists, audiologists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists would immediately be extended reimbursement, with the secretary of Health and Human Services given power to make more providers eligible in the future.
(11/05/21) Executive Summary: Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-state in Response to COVID-19 – November 2021
This article published by JDSupra includes a comprehensive federal and 50-state outline of policy, regulatory, and legal changes to telehealth services. This tool was developed by Manhatt Health and is up-to-date in an effort to meet the rapid changes of the evolving telehealth landscape in the US.
(11/02/21) ATA, Businesses Ask Congress to Expand Telehealth Options for Workers
In this article, Healthcare IT News highlights recent calls from various advocacy organizations and business groups, including the American Telemedicine Association and the US Chamber of Commerce, for the continued expansion of telehealth as an option for employees.
(10/26/21) Primary Care Docs Strained by Vaccine Hesitancy, Potential Telehealth Rollback as COVID-19 Pandemic Drags On
This article from Fierce Healthcare covers a recent survey from the Primary Care Collaborative, finding among other things that providers are concerned over a potential rollback of telehealth as an option for providing remote care. The COVID-19 pandemic led to wide scale adoption and expansion of telehealth, however many of the emergency regulations that enabled that growth are set to expire.
(10/21/21) What Happens to Telemedicine After COVID-19?
An article from the Association of American Medical Colleges covering the expansion of telemedicine services early in the pandemic, as well as what to expect about continued use of telemedicine in a post-pandemic world. Many patients and providers have happily embraced remote care as an option during the pandemic, and they worry about the potential loss.
(10/01/21) Do Hospitals Need to Extend Telehealth Services? An Experimental Study of Different Telehealth Modalities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A new research article published in Methods of Information in Medicine seeks to answer how patients evaluate different telehealth services when compared to in-person services. Increased demand for telehealth in the COVID-19 pandemic has led to questions about the most effective ways to deliver care in general.
(10/01/21) JD Power Survey Sees Telehealth Falling Back Into the Same Old Rut
Following a surge in telehealth use, seeing a rise from 7% in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic to 36% utilization in 2021, a new survey from JD Power finds that customer satisfaction is declining, although nearly half of patients who utilized telehealth within the past year reported convenience and quickness of care as top reasons for utilizing telehealth services.
(09/30/21) Most Provider Organizations Boosting Telehealth Investments, Survey Finds
This interview from Healthcare IT News discusses a recent survey indicating more than half of hospitals and health systems are increasing their investment in virtual care. Although initial investments into telemedicine came out of necessity early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the positive impacts of virtual care are leading many organizations to continue and expand the practice.
(09/23/21) Advancement in Telehealth During COVID-19 Pandemic
This article from The National Law Review looks at the ways telehealth has changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the regulatory actions enacted during the pandemic were temporary, with legislatures working to make some changes permanent and improve access to the technology, while preventing fraud and abuse.
(09/21/21) What Will the Next Year Look Like for Telehealth? ‘Well Above Pre-pandemic Levels’
This interview in Healthcare IT News offers an expert perspective on what to expect in terms of telehealth utilization over the next year. The major takeaway from this expert is to expect operational changes and new trends that mirror COVID-19 pandemic-level utilization more than utilization of telehealth prior to the pandemic.
(09/21/21) How the Veterans Affairs Department Went Digital During the Pandemic
This article, published by Nextgov, details how the United States Veterans Affairs Department utilized the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to address long-standing issues in the way health care is delivered to veterans. Improvements to digital infrastructure and new practices allowed a quintupling of telehealth visits and other improvements for the agency.
(09/20/21) Increasing Access to Quality Mental Health Care Through Telepsychiatry
The author of this Psychiatric Times article argues for utilizing telepsychiatry to improve access to mental health services for children at a time when all but 7 states are experiencing a shortage in psychiatrists specializing in children and adolescents, as both the workforce and these patients have experienced increased stressors from the COVID-19 pandemic.
(8/31/21) Telehealth’s Limits: Battle Over State Lines and Licensing Threatens Patients’ Options
This jointly-published article from Kaiser Health News and Time discusses the repercussions of the coming changes to regulations about medical appointments across state lines through telehealth services. As emergency pandemic-related exemptions expire, many providers are left unable to continue to provide care remotely to patients as they have been able to throughout the pandemic.
(08/18/2021) Telehealth Playing Huge Role in Child Healthcare During COVID-19 Pandemic
Telehealth is now playing a larger role in child health care amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This article highlights the need for low-income families to find other options for health care as well as the benefits of the new Telehealth Improvement For Kids’ Essential Services Act (TIKES Act).
(08/06/21) Telebehavioral Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Analysis of Provider Experiences and Perspectives
This research article published in Telemedicine and e-Health studies behavioral health provider perspectives on the use of telebehavioral health before and during the pandemic, as well as how policy changes impacted access to and utilization of behavioral health services in Michigan.
(07/25/21) Telehealth Leapt Forward With COVID-19. Who Was Left Behind?
This article introduces a couple of anecdotes about how telehealth has helped vulnerable patients since the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth went up dramatically in use during the pandemic. The rise of telehealth has also raised concerns about perpetuating unequal access to care. Poorer residents remain much less likely than wealthy ones to have broadband internet access. Video visits can gobble up limited data on phone plans and are especially hard for patients who don’t have a private place to talk.
(07/22/21) Surviving to Thriving: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Expanded Telehealth
In response to COVID-19, the use of telehealth has been expanded rapidly, and policy changes paved the way. The CDC recommended that health care facilities and providers in areas hit by COVID offer virtual services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services relaxed telehealth regulations, e.g., allowing physicians licensed in one state to see patients in a different state. As a result, there has been a 154% increase in telehealth visits during the last week of March 2020. 46% of all patients say they use telehealth for some visits, compared to just 11% in 2019 since the beginning of the pandemic, while in-person visits have slowed slightly during the same period. 83% of patients say they are likely to continue using telemedicine after COVID.
(07/16/21) United States: A Target On Telehealth: Government Action Against Telehealth Fraud In The Wake of COVID-19
Preventing telehealth fraud was a priority for the United States Department of Justice even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the widespread adoption of telehealth during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, this article published in Mondaq discusses the efforts from the government to combat fraud in telehealth service delivery.
(07/03/21) Health Technology in School-based Health Centers: Supporting Continuous Care During COVID-19
This research article published in the journal Health Technology examines the use of telehealth services in school-based health centers. As the COVID-19 pandemic led to dramatic and unprecedented, widespread use of telehealth, this research can help identify benefits and difficulties in implementation of telehealth programs in both schools as well as in other medical settings.
(06/28/21) Floridians’ Access to Telehealth Could Suffer As State Order Expires
Even though telehealth services surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, health care providers are uncertain about the future of telehealth now that the public health emergency is ending. In Florida, as of last week, telephones are no longer acceptable to deliver telehealth services to non-Medicare patients and physicians cannot use telehealth to prescribed controlled substances for treating chronic non-malignant pain.
(06/28/21) Uncertain Telehealth Laws Keep Substance Abuse Care Providers on Their Toes
Substance abuse care providers, including mental and behavioral health providers, who used telehealth services like MAT therapy during COVID-19, are uncertain about how post COVID-19 telehealth rules will affect how they use telehealth. Some states have revised their telehealth rules based on the pandemic while other states are waiting for the federal government to set a long-term policy.
(06/17/21) Audit Finds Telehealth Services for Mental Health May Be at Risk
New York State’s COVID-19 state of emergency has enabled rapid expansion and adoption of telehealth services, however, without action from the state, hundreds of mental health providers will no longer be able to provide services via telehealth once the state of emergency ends.
(06/16/21) #ATA2021: Telehealth Is Key to Equity and Access for Every Patient Population
This podcast clip introduces a recent case study that explains how telehealth can help address healthcare disparities by improving access to care for vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. Telehealth can be combined with higher privacy protection and translation technologies that can expand the primary care services to the homeless and people with limited English proficiency. Additionally, the study also highlights that the use of telehealth helped providers reduce costs and seniors be familiar with digital devices.
(06/15/21) AMA Adopts Policies to Advance Telehealth, Close Digital Divide and Tackle Prior Authorization Burdens
The American Medical Association has approved new policies to help advance telehealth, rural health, and COVID-19-related difficulties experienced throughout the pandemic. Some of these changes include new methods for reimbursing for health care delivery both in-person and digitally and advising the federal government on equitable distribution of resources, such as personal protective equipment.
(06/13/21) Patient Characteristics Associated With the Successful Transition to Virtual Care: Lessons Learned From the First Million Patients
This journal article from the Sage Journal’s Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare analyzes the impact of the increased use of telehealth to maintain ambulatory care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study assessed patient characteristics that were associated with the successful transition from in-person to virtual care as well as the differences in video and audio-only participation.
(06/10/21) Telehealth Has Enabled Wider Access During COVID-19 – But Not for Everyone
The American Telemedicine Association held their annual conference recently, which brought light to the many changes the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated relating to telehealth service delivery, use, and acceptance. One major issue highlighted at the conference, however, is the inequities in access to telehealth services, which depend on internet access and english language proficiency, among other issues.
(06/09/21) Opportunities in a Time of Crisis: Launching Innovative Long-term Care Programs During COVID-19
In this commentary published by United Hospital Fund, the author advocates for using telehealth in innovative ways in long-term care settings. The long-term care industry has experienced high rates of turnover, shortages in workers, and other challenges since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and telehealth may offer solutions to improve outcomes for both patients and providers.
(06/08/21) The Transition of Academic Mental Health Clinics to Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic
New research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, documented and evaluated the rapid transition to telehealth services at eight academic child and adolescent psychiatry programs in the US and Canada. The research found documenting the barriers and successes to telehealth services can help to promote better telehealth practice in the future.
(06/07/21) COVID Was a Tipping Point for Telehealth. If Some Have Their Way, Virtual Visits Are Here to Stay
This article jointly published by Kaiser Health News and USA Today highlights the changes to telehealth delivery in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts by some to ensure it becomes a permanent fixture in the health care system. Telehealth visits sured initially in the pandemic and have leveled off at more than 10% of all visits weekly, compared to approximately 1% prior to the pandemic.
(05/25/21) What Role Can Telehealth Play in Emergency Medicine?
This article from Managed Healthcare Executive discusses the potential for the COVID-19 pandemic to drive a shift to the use of telehealth in emergency medicine situations. Studies prior to the pandemic identified telescreening to be as efficient as in-person screening and can ensure patients are screened and treated as quickly as possible in emergency departments.
(05/25/21) House Reps Seek to Permanently Safeguard Audio-only Telehealth Coverage
A bipartisan bill introduced to the US House of Representatives seeks to add permanent coverage to audio-only telehealth services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowed audio-only telehealth delivery during the public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has primarily benefited patients who are rural, low-income, elderly, and those with physical limitations.
(05/24/21) No-cancel Culture: How Telehealth Is Making It Easier to Keep That Therapy Session
This article, jointly published by Kaiser Health News and NBC News, highlights ways in which the rapid transition to wide-scale telehealth use during the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have had the positive consequence of patients skipping fewer appointments.
(05/20/21) The Pandemic Proved Hospitals Can Deliver Care To Seriously Ill Patients at Home
Studies have suggested that newly introduced at-home models of care are cost effective and provide better health outcomes for seriously ill patients. This telehealth model of care was widely adopted last year when the Center for Medicaid & Medicare Services expanded its program. The program offered at-home acute hospital care for patients with COVID-19 and other acute illnesses in efforts to mitigate surge capacity issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. This extension provided more flexibility to health care systems and freed up hospital beds during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
(05/14/21) Podcast: 3 Unanswered Questions For Telehealth’s Future
This episode of the Health Affairs podcast, Health Affairs This Week, looks at the questions remaining following the rapid implementation and expansion of telehealth services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three main questions addressed include: Should Medicare continue payment parity? Where does payment reform stand on telehealth? And what are the current barriers affecting implementation of telehealth?
(05/14/21) Federal Funding for Emergency Home Visits for Families Includes Telehealth
New COVID-19 pandemic relief funding is being released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to aid in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program. This program utilizes telehealth services to deliver health care services to families who cannot be seen in person due to pandemic related difficulties.
(05/03/21) Telebehavioral Health Workforce Opportunities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This report from the Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health focuses on the behavioral health workforce development opportunities resulting from the widespread, rapid adoption of telebehavioral health services.
(04/23/21) Virtual Care Spreads in Missouri Health System, Home to ‘Hospital Without Beds’
This article from Kaiser Health News and U.S. News & World Report highlights the operation of the St. Louis, Missouri-based Mercy Virtual Care Center, described as the world’s first “hospital without beds” by officials. The Mercy health system estimates 660,000 virtual visits have occurred in their system since the beginning of the pandemic, with 85% of their providers utilizing telehealth to reach their patients.
(04/16/21) Round 2 of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program Application Portal Will Open April 29
Applications for the second round of the COVID-19 telehealth program will open on Thursday, April 29, 2021. This week-long filing window will offer additional funding to support providers seeking to provide telehealth services struggling with telecommunications services, lack of devices, and lack of information about providing telehealth.
(04/12/21) Permanent Changes Finally Coming to Telehealth
As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, telehealth is evolving. New rules by the federal government have expanded access to virtual health care services and expanded medicare coverage for telehealth services.
(04/11/21) Telehealth Impact – Patient Survey Analysis
A study on the impact of telehealth on patient attitudes and patient experience has found that more than 70% of patients reported high satisfaction with telehealth services and a desire to continue using telehealth following the COVID-19 pandemic.
(04/02/21) CMS Expands Telehealth Coverage for Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists
After failing to see an expanded role in initial COVID-19 telehealth expansion legislation, audiologists and speech-language pathologists are seeing expanded reimbursable services from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provided through telehealth.
(03/31/21) To Improve Telemedicine, Reform Outdated State Medical Licensing Rules
The successful rapid adoption of telehealth has garnered much attention to the need for telehealth reform as states plan to guide wider adoption of telehealth. This article highlights the need to address outdated state medical licensing rules to improve the adoption of and access to telehealth services.
(03/30/21) FCC Approves Plan to Relaunch COVID-19 Telehealth Program
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to adopt a new plan to begin a second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. This program seeks to correct issues with the first round, including establishing a system to rate telehealth applications and a focus on equitable distribution of funding across the United States.
(03/20/21) A Post-COVID Reimagining of Telehealth in Medicare
This opinion piece from The Hill discusses the need for lawmakers to expand telehealth coverage for Medicare patients beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the proposed expansions include extending the list of conditions to be treated, relaxing geographic restrictions, and improving reimbursement rates for telehealth services.
(03/16/21) Digital Divide Yields Income Telehealth Care Access Disparities
A new analysis from the RAND Corporation that assessed the utilization of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic found significant access disparities linked to geographic and economic differences. These findings suggest that policy makers should focus on improving telehealth care access and resources for these groups.
(03/15/21) Congress Targets Telehealth Coverage for Mental Health, Substance Abuse Treatment
Bipartisan legislation seeks to expand access for mental health and substance use disorder services through mandating coverage from private insurers. Telehealth waivers implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to calls for more permanent solutions such as this legislation.
(03/15/21) The Boom in Out-of-state Telehealth Threatens In-state Providers
Several states have relaxed licensure requirements and telehealth restrictions which allowed out-of-state providers to deliver telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. As states seek to permanently expand access to telehealth services, some providers are concerned about the unintended consequences of expansion.
(03/11/21) Congress Must Ensure Telehealth Access After Pandemic’s Over
The emergency expansion of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the delivery and access of health care services. The American Medical Association urges congress to ensure that telehealth remains available after the pandemic is over, especially for Medicare patients.
(03/10/21) Lawmakers Look to Expand Telehealth Services
Telehealth has played a critical role in the safe provision of health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several states are focusing on permanently reducing telehealth restrictions for providers and expanding access to telehealth services for patients.
(03/08/21) National Quality Forum Looks to Update Telehealth Quality Benchmarks
This article highlights a recent Health Care Strategies podcast held by Xtelligent Healthcare Media. During this interview, the senior vice president of Quality measurement for the National Quality Forum, Sheri Winsper, announces a new project with the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Sheri Winsper outlines plans to develop a framework that would measure telehealth outcomes in rural areas.
(03/04/21) The “State” of Telehealth: Oregon
Oregon Senator Lee Bayer and State Representative Rachel Prusak introduced a bill in efforts to permanently expand parity for telehealth services and in-clinic services. Service and payment parity for telehealth would increase access to health care services and allow providers to receive reimbursement at the same rates of in-clinic services.
(03/04/21) Maryland Lawmakers Debate Bill to Expand School-Based Telehealth
An emergency bill currently being debated by the Maryland legislature seeks to make it easier for school-based health centers to offer telehealth services to their students. Currently, only 18 of 86 school based health centers in the state offer this technology.
(03/01/21) Telehealth Has Been Good in the Pandemic. It Could Be Great Long Term.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the delivery of health care services. As cases surged, many providers adapted telehealth as a way to safely provide access to care and contain the spread of the virus. Telehealth has played a critical role during the pandemic and there are several advantages of permanently expanding telehealth services.
(02/25/21) Illinois Bill Would Allow Optometrists to Provide Telehealth Services
Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam filed a new bill that would expand the use of telehealth and include optometric services.
(02/23/21) We Should Keep Expanding Telehealth, Even After the Pandemic
Senators Brian Schatz, Tim Scott, and state officials are proposing ways to permanently lift regulations that place geographic limits on telehealth in the new Telehealth Modernization Act.
(02/23/21) 2 More Telehealth Bills Return to Congress For Another Try
Two telehealth bills, The TREATS Act and the Telehealth Modernization Act, are being reintroduced to Congress, as part of proposed legislation to keep telehealth an important priority post COVID-19.
(02/22/21) Will Telehealth Payment Parity be Permanent or a Passing Fancy?
As federal and state lawmakers shape telehealth policy post COVID-19, payment parity will be the most important issue, according to a recent study of state telehealth commercial insurance coverage and parity laws by the Foley & Lardner law firm.
(02/18/21) Variation in Telemedicine Use and Outpatient Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States
A new journal article has been published in Health Affairs researching the use of telehealth and its effect on outpatient visits throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Key findings include disparities in use of telemedicine by income and differences in use of telehealth for different specialties.
(02/18/21) For Diabetes Care, Telehealth Is a Keeper
This article from Healthline discusses the use of telehealth services for diabetes care, where new research supports the effectiveness for managing the condition with satisfaction from both providers and patients.
(02/17/21) Connected Care Alliance Unveils Telehealth Licensing Portability Plan
This article highlights the key features of draft legislation for a Medical Excellence Zone produced by the Alliance for Connected Care. The Medical Excellence Zone is a regional licensure portability program aimed at allowing participating states to recognize each other’s medical licenses.
(02/15/21) Questions Arise Over Medicare Coverage for Mental Health Services by Telehealth
This article discusses the potential impact of a pandemic relief bill that mandates an in-person exam as a prerequisite for Medicare coverage of a telehealth-based service.
(02/12/21) Can 10 Months of Data Show How to Optimize Use of Telehealth?
This article narrates and assesses a panel discussion on “Advancing Telehealth for Patients and Physicians” at the 2021 AMA State Advocacy Summit. The panelists explored how the pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth, its impact on the delivery of care, and the need to expand coverage.
(02/10/21) Report Shows ‘Vast Improvement’ in State Telehealth Reimbursement Policies
A new report found that the COVID-19 pandemic compelled state and federal policymakers to remove restrictions on and expand reimbursement for telehealth and virtual care. It has also been reported that forty three states and the District of Columbia implemented a version of a state telehealth commercial payer law.
(02/09/21) Massachusetts Enacts Legislation Promoting Access to Quality and Affordable Care, Telehealth
This news article discusses the key features of a Massachusetts health care law that was signed on January 1, 2021 by Governor Charlie Baker. The act addresses a wide variety of healthcare issues, such as billing, advanced practitioner scope of practice, telehealth, mental health parity and healthcare accessibility.
(02/08/21) Congress Gets Another Shot at Easing Telehealth Licensure Restrictions
This article discusses the key features of the Temporary Reciprocity to Ensure Access to Treatment (TREAT) Act which aims to allow providers to bypass state and federal licensing requirements during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Treat Act would improve access to care for consumers by allowing healthcare providers to use telehealth to treat anyone in any state throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
(02/05/21) Telehealth, Licensure Portability Featured in New Disaster Preparedness Plan
This article discusses a proposed national emergency preparedness plan that includes a strategy for licensure portability as well as a framework for expanding the access to and coverage of telehealth.
(02/04/21) Lawmakers Reintroduce COVID-19 Telehealth Licensure Bill
A new bill submitted to the United States House of Representatives and the Senate seeks to allow health care providers to use telehealth to treat patients across state lines both throughout and for 6 months following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Current rules have been relaxed in some states during the public health emergency, but barriers due to differences between state and federal licensure requirements remain.
(01/29/2021) Accelerating Digital Health to Achieve Equitable Delivery of the COVID-19 Vaccine
The authors in this Health Affairs blog article discusses how digital health technology can be used with community-based and faith-based organizations to help meet the needs of underserved communities.
(01/25/2021) US Lawmakers Reintroduce House Bill Safeguarding Access to Telehealth
This article discusses a reintroduced House bill aimed at expanding access to telehealth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
(01/21/21) South Dakota Governor Looks to Make Telehealth Coverage Permanent
An article outlining South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s plans to permanently extend emergency telehealth rules enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(01/19/21) What Role Will Telehealth Play After COVID-19?
This article examines important topics dealing with the future of telehealth, including whether or not Congress is committed to telehealth, what private payers think about telehealth, and whether or not telehealth should be a long-term investment.
(01/10/21) Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Expand Access to Telehealth for All as Part of 2021 State of the State
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a proposal to expand access to telehealth for all New Yorkers by making permanent and further expanding many of the pandemic-related expansions. Telehealth use has increased dramatically following changes to regulation to ensure reimbursement and efforts to keep providers and patients safe from COVID-19 infection.
(01/07/21) Telehealth Usage Rises With Increase of COVID-19 Cases
This article from HealthLeaders discusses new analysis from FAIR Health of insurance claims, noticing an increase in insurance claims for telehealth services matching an increase in cases of COVID-19. Telehealth claims rose substantially in 2020 over 2019, with sustained use from March through October, the most recent month analyzed.
(01/06/21) Poll: Most Americans Plan to Use Telehealth After the Pandemic
This article from MedCity News covers a recent Harris Poll survey finding nearly 65% of Americans reported planning to continue using telehealth even after the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the survey also showed more than half of those aged 35-49 would prefer to have both telehealth and in-person visits, nearly two-thirds of those over age 65 would prefer in-person visits.
(01/04/21) Massachusetts Governor Signs Law Safeguarding Telehealth Coverage
Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts has signed a law to make permanent many of the telehealth-related regulations put in place to enable better access to virtual treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new bill will require permanent rate parity on certain health services and an expanded scope of practice for some providers, among other provisions.
(12/22/20) New Bill Aims to Ensure Medicare Coverage for Audio-only Telehealth Calls
A new bipartisan bill introduced to the United States House of Representatives seeks to allow certain health care services delivered over audio-only channels to permanently be eligible for Medicare reimbursement. The federal government and many states have temporarily eased restrictions on reimbursement for audio-only calls in order to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
(12/14/20) Current Status of Federal and California Telehealth Policy During COVID-19
A video from the Center for Connected Health Policy, featuring Executive Director Mei Wa Kwong outlines the current status of federal regulation of telehealth, as well as regulation in the state of California.
(12/14/20) Too Big to Ignore: 7 Recommendations to Address Our Growing Mental Health Crisis
This blog post from the Health Affairs describes the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult mental health crisis. With rates of psychological distress up throughout the United States, options such as expanding access to telehealth and improving treatment options are given to address the needs of patients.
(12/09/20) Waiver of State Licensure Requirements for The Delivery of COVID-19 Countermeasures via Telehealth
This article from The National Law Review covers amendments waiving state licensure requirements when providing Covered Countermeasures for COVID-19 treatment using telehealth services. This is significant in that it helps some providers provide some services that were previously limited due to state laws regarding cross-state practice of medicine using telehealth.
(12/07/20) What Is Telemedicine, and How Has It Evolved During the Pandemic?
This opinion piece published in Forbes covers the background of telehealth services and how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way telehealth technology is used. Telemedicine has seen widespread adoption as an alternative to traditional in-person services.
(12/04/20) The Risks of Moving Health Care Delivery to the Internet
This opinion blog post published in Health Affairs compares the advantages and disadvantages to the movement of health care services to internet-based modalities. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been significant movement from traditional services to telehealth and other electronic, virtual-based services.
(12/04/20) HHS Expands COVID-19 Telehealth Capabilities in PREP Act Amendment
This article covers a new amendment to the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act from the United States Department of Health and Human Services. This amendment aims to ease the regulatory burdens on health care providers seeking to provide telehealth services to patients across state lines.
(12/03/20) Survey: Make Telehealth a Regular Part of Care Management
A new survey from Luma Health finds that patients’ fear of COVID-19 infection may be keeping them away from in-person visits with their health care providers. Telehealth services are suggested as an alternative to help keep patient care on track.
(12/02/20) CMS Adds 60+ Services to Medicare’s Telehealth List in Final Rule: 7 Details
In this update from Becker’s Hospital Review, some new changes to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2021 Physician Fee Schedule are listed, with impacts on telehealth services. More than 60 new services are added to the list of reimbursable services, potentially increasing access to patients.
(12/01/20) A Shifting View on Telemedicine
A palliative medicine and critical care doctor writes about the way in which patient and medical perception of telemedicine use has changed, both before and throughout the pandemic, in this piece published by The New York Times.
(11/30/20) The Future of State Telehealth Policy
The National Governors Association provides a summary of the many types of regulatory flexibilities put in place across the nation at both the state and federal level in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper also provides insight on further considerations for governors on long-term goals in telehealth policy.
(11/24/20) More Telehealth Options Added for Medicare Recipients
Telehealth growth among Medicare recipients increased during the pandemic from 0.1% to nearly 40%. This article covers some of the expanded telehealth services now eligible for reimbursement for Medicare members.
(11/23/20) Diving Into the Home Health Emergency Access to Telehealth (HEAT) Act
This article highlights new legislation introduced by Maine Senator Susan Collins and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin with the intention of creating rules for reimbursement for telehealth services offered in a home health care setting, which has already been operating without reimbursement in many locations due to its effectiveness.
(11/10/20) Make Virtual Doctor Visits a Permanent Part of Medicare
Utilization of telehealth has increased substantially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This editorial pulls data from the University of Washington medical system to show how telemedicine has exponentially grown and should remain a staple of the healthcare system after the pandemic is over.
(11/09/20) Boston, NY Hospitals Collaborate on Telehealth Platform for COVID-19 Rehab
Health systems in both Boston and New York City are combining efforts to develop a telehealth platform with a goal of improving clinical outcomes for discharged patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
(11/06/20) Telemedicine Surge Likely to Remain
An article describing how high patient satisfaction and continued fear of COVID-19 infection is fueling continued demand for telehealth services. As state and national policies continue to promote telehealth service delivery, this demand will likely remain.
(11/05/20) Ever-changing Patient Needs Require Embrace of Digital Technologies
In this opinion piece, the author advocates for further adoption and utilization of telehealth technology to better meet the needs of patients. The author describes her organization’s use of telehealth to benefit patients, advocates, and survivors of lung cancer in the time of COVID-19.
(11/04/20) Op-Ed | Telehealth Services Are Remarkably Effective—Let’s Make Sure They Stay Funded
An op-ed piece discussing the importance of funding telehealth services to maintain their effectiveness. The author details how telehealth has been used to provide better care for the homeless in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(10/28/20) Health Insurers Are Starting to Roll Back Coverage for Telehealth – Even Though Demand Is Way Up Due to COVID-19
The adoption of telehealth rapidly following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to significant increases in utilization with no end to the demand in sight. However, as the demand remains high, health insurers are reconsidering what services will be reimbursed over telehealth.
(10/28/20) Too Many Rural Americans Are Living in the Digital Dark. The Problem Demands A New Deal Solution
This blog post from Health Affairs highlights the problems rural Americans face in accessing telehealth services, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid expansion of telehealth services met the challenges of limited broadband connectivity, and expanding this connectivity could help both patients gain access to care and hospitals in rural locations increase revenue.
(10/27/20) Report Notes CMS Program’s Success With Telehealth for Senior Care
This article highlights a new report on the PACE program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has found success in funding telehealth services in 31 states for both patients on Medicare and Medicaid. The program may be a model of other programs to effectively improve telehealth service delivery.
(10/27/20) Telemedicine or In-person Visit? Pros and Cons
An article from Kaiser Health News discussing the benefits and drawbacks of telehealth visits compared to traditional, in-person care. Insurance coverage and reimbursement for the visit are major points of focus, as well as comfort with telehealth visits and technology available for the visit.
(10/27/20) Predicting the Future Role of Telemedicine
Given the massive increase in the use of telehealth during the pandemic, there are expectations that it will become a standard feature of health care delivery. This article makes some predictions about the future of telehealth, including predictions that patients will seek out better telehealth delivery services and expect increased access to specialists.
(10/21/20) Bridging the Miles — And the Pandemic — Teledentistry Makes Some Dentists Wince
An article jointly published by Fortune and Kaiser Health News which looks at the positive and negative consequences of teledentistry. While some have benefited significantly from the service, detractors complain of an inability to thoroughly test and diagnose a patient, leading to worse quality and potentially worse outcomes.
(10/20/20) Medicaid Telehealth Policies States Can Make Permanent to Ensure Access for Children/Families
This newsletter from Manatt Health discusses some of the policies enacted in response to COVID-19 that could be made permanent in an effort to expand access for children and families beyond the pandemic. Suggestions include changes to coverage, reimbursement, sites of care, and services offered.
(10/19/20) CMS Announces New Medicare Telehealth Services and Updates Medicaid Telehealth Toolkit
An article covering new services announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be covered by Medicare during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. This emergency was recently extended to January 20, 2021, and meet an executive order from President Trump seeking to expand access to telehealth.
(10/16/20) Social Work and Tele-behavioral Health During COVID-19
The Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center at the University of Michigan has released a research brief covering the use of tele-behavioral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the research include significant increases in use of tele-behavioral health and organizational telehealth capabilities.
(10/16/20) How Virtual Care Can Be Refined to Reach Those Who Need It Most
In this article, multiple experts are interviewed for their perspective on how to improve access to health care utilizing telehealth services and technology. Although virtual care offers some benefits to address issues with physical access to care, there are still issues with ensuring the technology is distributed and accessible equitably.
(10/15/20) CMS Will Reimburse for 11 New Telehealth Services During the Public Health Emergency
New guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has added 11 additional services to the list of reimbursable Medicare telehealth services. These additional services expand into such practices as neurology and both cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.
(10/14/20) As Telehealth Surges, Dermatology Brings Experience With Access and Sustainability
Utilization of telehealth technology has expanded rapidly with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with apparent long-term staying power. This blog post from Health Affairs covers some of the opportunities and challenges for telehealth continuing forward based on the use thus-far in the pandemic.
(10/13/20) Top 3 Concerns with the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule
This article discusses some of the changes proposed for the 2021 Medicare Fee Schedule, which has some provider groups worried. These proposed changes include cuts to some specialty payments, changes to telehealth services eligible for reimbursement, and new quality reporting requirements.
(10/13/20) CMS Faces Another Call to Expand Telehealth Coverage for Specialists
An article covering calls from members of Congress to the the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to expand coverage for telehealth-based audiology and speech-language pathology services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(10/12/20) Telemedicine for Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Roundup and 5 Reporting Tips
This research roundup provides some information on utilization of telehealth services for drug addiction treatment. While the COVID-19 pandemic has captured the most attention this year, the United States is still dealing with a major crisis in drug and alcohol abuse.
(10/08/20) Establishing a Value-Based ‘New Normal’ for Telehealth
This blog post is part of the “Higher Health Care Value Post COVID-19” series from Health Affairs and highlights some of the policies and actions that have enabled widespread implementation and adoption of telehealth technology, as well as charting a path forward for Telehealth post-pandemic.
(10/07/20) Patient Satisfaction With Telehealth High Following COVID-19
An article covering the results of the J.D. Power 2020 US Telehealth Satisfaction Study, which has found that while telehealth is yielding high patient satisfaction ratings, there are still significant barriers to access for nearly half of patients.
(10/06/20) Telehealth’s Digital Divide Is Real, and Members of Congress Want to Address It
This article covers the legislative attempts being made in the House of Representatives to expand access to telehealth services following significant barriers seen throughout the pandemic. The focus of the legislation is to demand studies of the effectiveness of telehealth, expand broadband access, and ensure reimbursement to maintain the technology.
(10/05/20) Telehealth Patients Still Have Quality Doctor Time
This article covers the findings of a new study on surgical follow-ups conducted via telehealth technology. The study found that while patients spent more time at appointments in-person, this included checking in and time spent in the waiting room, and ultimately both telehealth and in-person appointments spent approximately 8 minutes discussing with their surgeon.
(09/30/20) Telehealth is Here to Stay. Are the Providers Who Refuse to Embrace it?
An article highlighting some of the reasons telehealth was slow to adopt prior to the pandemic, and which providers may be resistant to adoption even after the regulatory flexibility and increases in popularity.
(09/29/20) As Insurers Move This Week to Stop Waiving Telehealth Copays, Patients May Have to Pay More for Virtual Care
Insurers are preparing for and in some cases already enacting changes to policy to add or increase copays for telehealth visits. This article covers the expected changes and how virtual care may cost more for patients.
(09/24/20) Telemedicine: A Harbinger of Healthcare Transformation?
This opinion piece forecasts more reliance on the electronic and virtual changes to health care accelerated by the pandemic, even after the regulatory easing on privacy and insurance companies reconsider reimbursement. Issues to be considered include when virtual visits should be prioritized over in-person and how much should they be reimbursed.
(09/23/20) Telehealth Should Be Expanded—if it Can Address Today’s Health Care Challenges
This post featured on the Health Affairs blog promotes further expansion of telehealth following the rapid expansion and implementation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learning to integrate these advancements into the health care system in a post-pandemic world will be essential for continued adoption and improvement on telehealth services.
(09/21/20) Mayo’s Chief Digital Officer: The Hospital of the Future Isn’t Just About Technology
This interview with Rita Khan, Chief Digital Officer of the Mayo Clinic, discusses the nature of utilizing telehealth and technology to empower patience and encourage further transparency in health care delivery.
(09/21/20) Setting a Strategy to Maximize Telehealth’s Potential
An article from Margaret O’Kane, President of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, about strategically utilizing telehealth services to meet the needs of health care providers both during the pandemic and beyond. As health care workers risked their lives treating patients early in the pandemic, state and national governments relaxed restrictions on telehealth services and providers worked to fill in the gap with using the technology to meet non-emergency care needs.
(09/14/20) A Timeline of Telehealth Support From the Federal Government During the Pandemic
This timeline from Becker’s Hospital Review shows the timeline of support for telehealth from the federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning March 6 and progressing to early September.
(09/16/20) Telehealth Task Force Announces Policy Change Recommendations
An article covering highlights from the Taskforce on Telehealth Policy’s latest report on recommendations for the continued use of telehealth once the pandemic is over. This taskforce has been examining the impact of telehealth and preparing recommendations since June.
(09/10/20) Beyond COVID-19: Making Telehealth More Accessible and Equitable
An article from Sarah Krevans, the President and CEO of Sutter Health, discussing the ability for telehealth expansion to enable health care providers to reach traditionally underserved communities like never before. Sutter Health is based in Sacramento, California, serving a geographically and demographically diverse population and forming partnerships with local organizations and creating “telehealth champions” to help with adoption of services in diverse areas.
(09/09/20) Five Ways—Beyond Current Policy—to Truly Integrate Telehealth Into Primary Care Practices
This blog post featured on Health Affairs discusses opportunities for better integration of telehealth technology and services into primary care practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly expanded the use of telehealth, with many eyeing possibilities for further utilization.
(09/01/20) Telehealth Visits Are Plunging, Forcing Providers to Recalibrate
An article covering the decreasing trend of telehealth visits as a percentage of total visits to health care providers. Telehealth utilization dropped from nearly two-thirds of visits early in the pandemic to nearly one-fifth in mid July, leading to changes in the way providers operate their practices.
(08/31/20) As Telemedicine Replaces the Physical Exam, What Are Doctors Missing?
This interview from NPR discusses a physician’s perspective on what is potentially lost from the widespread adoption of telehealth services. As telehealth technology enables easier access to primary care from distant locations, some physicians are concerned about losing the physical examination, which provides opportunities to catch certain conditions, like heart failure, in ways not yet possible with remote technology.
(08/30/20) Fad or Future? Telehealth Expansion Eyed Beyond Pandemic
This article published by the Associated Press highlights how regulatory flexibility and technological advancement have enabled telehealth to expand rapidly under the COIVID-19 pandemic. Following this expansion are calls for a permanent place for telehealth in this enlarged capacity.
(08/27/20) Using Telehealth to Revolutionize the Speed of Making Rare Disease Diagnoses
This opinion piece discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid adoption of telehealth technology, and enabled some significant potential benefits of this expansion. As telehealth use increases and more providers utilize the technology, there is hope for increased speed and collaboration in making difficult, rare diagnoses.
(08/26/20) Can Telehealth Help Medical Practices Ditch the Waiting Room?
An article covering some of the unanticipated benefits of utilizing telehealth technology, especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Allowing patients to virtually check in, fill out forms, match insurance, and more can help clear waiting rooms and enable safer access to health care.
(08/21/20) A Pandemic Gives Telehealth a New Purpose With Community Paramedicine
This article discusses some of the important and innovative ways telehealth technology is being utilized to improve quality of service and care coordination in health care. Utilizing the technology, emergency medical service providers are providing better, more informed care outside of clinical settings.
(08/21/20) It’s Time to Permanently Suspend Regulatory Barriers to Telehealth
The use of telehealth technology to deliver quality health care has risen substantially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency regulations have enabled access and utilization like never seen before, and many are calling for permanent suspension of regulatory barriers to enable telehealth technology to continue to thrive.
(08/19/20) What We Learned From COVID: Telehealth is Here to Stay
An opinion piece from Republican Representative Kevin Hern of Oklahoma discussing the “new normal” that is telehealth expansion to address COVID-19, even beyond the eventual end of the pandemic. The expansion of telehealth has driven it from a scarcely used service to an essential and reliable component of health care, especially in rural communities.
(08/18/20) Telehealth Visits Skyrocket Among Americans Age 50-80
The percentage of adults aged 50-80 who utilize telehealth services has increased from just 4% in May 2019 to more than 30% in June 2020. This article discusses the opportunities of expansion, including increased access, ease, and comfort receiving health care, and threats to expansion, such as lack of tech experience and a preference for in person visits.
(08/17/20) Telehealth and the New Choreography of ‘Anywhere Care’
An opinion piece featured in STAT discussing some of the barriers of providing comprehensive health care using telehealth services. Issues with access to specialties to payment parity to maintaining provider-patient relationships are all concerns for the widespread adoption and success of telehealth.
(08/14/20) Moving On From Telehealth-by-desperation: What Will Make Telehealth Stick
Reports in April indicated that as many as 90% of physicians in the United States were utilizing some form of telehealth technology to treat patients remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Health Affairs blog post offers some strategies to ensure continued use of the technology, including ensuring HIPAA compliance and addressing treatment quality concerns.
(08/13/20) Medicare Telehealth Expansion Could Be Here to Stay. Here’s Where Things Stand
An article describing the current status of telehealth expansion regulations for Medicare beneficiaries and where those restrictions may lead in the future. While the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled widespread implementation of telehealth services, policymakers are seeking ways to address cost and quality of the services provided.
(08/11/20) Reducing Barriers to Using Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring for Pediatric Populations under Medicaid
This report identifies strategies for reducing barriers to using services delivered via telehealth for the treatment for substance use disorders (SUDs) among pediatric populations under Medicaid.
(08/10/20) Telehealth and the Future of the US Healthcare Industry
This article examines the effects of telehealth on US healthcare during COVID-19 and looks at ways telemedicine is going to shape the future of healthcare.
(08/04/20) CMS Expands Telehealth Coverage in Physician Fee Rule Following Trump Executive Order
An article discussing a new executive order signed by United States President Donald Trump making permanent many expansions of telehealth regulations enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the public health emergency.
(08/03/20) Is Telemedicine Here to Stay?
An article featured in The New York Times recapping how telehealth has been used since the beginning of the pandemic, with many asking for the regulatory changes made to be maintained beyond the pandemic.
(08/03/20) COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Telehealth Boom, but Older Adults Can’t Connect
An article that examines how older patients are having difficulty accessing telehealth services during the pandemic due to inability to connect to necessary technology or unreadiness to use it, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco published in JAMA.
(07/31/20) Trump Administration Aims to Keep Telehealth Revolution Here to Stay
An opinion article in USA Today that addresses the barriers to telehealth and what strategies are needed to make telehealth more accessible such as regulatory reform and statutory changes in Congress.
(07/28/20) Telemedicine Explodes to the Forefront Amid COVID-19
An article covering the implementation and use of telemedicine before and throughout the pandemic, as well as thoughts on how telehealth usage will continue when the pandemic is over.
(07/28/20) ASPE Issue Brief: Medicare Beneficiary Use of Telehealth Visits: Early Data From the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic
The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation has released an issue brief examining changes to the Medicare fee-for-service primary care visits and utilization of telehealth since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency declaration.
(07/27/20) Virtual Care Advances Are the Silver Lining of COVID-19. Here’s How We Make Them Permanent
An article covering some of the advances seen as positive results of the COVID-19 pandemic, with suggestions to maintain the benefits beyond the crisis. Some suggestions include lifting geographic restrictions for both patients and providers, making permanent the expansion of allowed services, and maintaining reimbursement rates for meeting standards of care.
(07/27/20) My Patients Want the Good Old Days of Office Visits. That’s Not Happening Any Time Soon
An opinion piece from a primary care physician discussing her office’s usage of telehealth services at a time when their clinic is seeing less than a quarter of their usual in-person volume. While some patients have conditions requiring in-person care, there are many who would benefit from telehealth.
(07/23/20) Legislators and Healthcare Orgs Rally in Favor of Bipartisan Telehealth Bill
A bipartisan effort in the United States House of Representatives has been introduced with the intention of increasing access to telehealth services for people on Medicare. The popular measures being proposed include elimination of restrictions for geographic and originating sites, making it easier for providers to treat patients regardless of location.
(07/22/20) Care Delivery Transformation: Integrating Telehealth and Home-Based Care
Part of the Alliance for Health Policy’s Signature Series Summit on Disruptors and Transformers during the COVID-19 pandemic, this panel discusses the integration of telehealth and home-based care. Covered in the discussion are digital care delivery transformations as a result of COVID-19, and how the use of telehealth impacts patients, caregivers, and providers.
(07/20/20) Prioritizing Access to Care: Keeping Telehealth Options for All Americans
An opinion piece advocating for the importance of telehealth in protecting patients amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the current bipartisan legislation being introduced to maintain the expanded telehealth services and access beyond the pandemic.
(07/16/20) Expanding Telehealth in a Post-COVID World
An article from the National Law Review covering changes in regulation and expansion to telehealth services expected following the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the changes made to address the pandemic. Historic regulations that worked to limit telehealth services have now been largely replaced with those in favor of telehealth service, and that is likely to remain.
(07/14/20) Patients Want to Keep Using Virtual Care After COVID-19 Pandemic Ends, Survey Finds
An article covering a new survey finding that a majority of patients who had experienced telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic would like to see these services remain in the future, among other metrics.
(07/13/20) 8 in 10 Consumers Stated COVID-19 Made Telehealth “Indispensable” in Healthcare Delivery
A new study featured in the 2020 Change Healthcare – Harris Poll Consumer Experience Index has found 8 in 10 consumers finding immense importance in the use of telehealth for treatment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers also identified a desire for accurate cost estimates for the treatment they are receiving.
(07/13/20) NY Providers Urge Measures to Sustain Telehealth Access Post-COVID
Health care advocacy organizations in New York are calling for making permanent many of the regulatory changes that have improved access to health care through telehealth visits. They are also requesting more flexibility in which health care providers are allowed to offer telehealth services.
(07/08/20) Centering on Coronavirus Podcast: The Expansion of Telehealth
A podcast exploring the use of telehealth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and its potential for beyond. As Telehealth has become a main component of health care delivery following the COVID-19 pandemic, many providers and patients are finding value in the increased access and ability to avoid risk of infection of in person visits.
(07/06/20) Telehealth Providers Doing ‘More Visits Than Humanly Possible’ in a Day Draw CMS Scrutiny
Seema Verma, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, stated during an interview that the agency is examining methods for detecting and investigating fraud in telehealth utilization, following some clinicians providing more telehealth visits than is actually possible at the emergency increased reimbursement rate.
(07/06/20) The Return of Housecalls: How COVID-19 Will Change Healthcare Forever
An article discussing the way in which COVID-19 has forced major changes in the United States health care industry, with historic “housecalls” making a comeback, although this time virtually. As telehealth offers increasing convenience and high levels of care, it likely is here to stay.
(07/02/20) Telehealth Called a ‘Silver Lining’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Time, It Might Stick
An article covering the change in the use of telehealth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although use has currently fallen from its peak in April, for many situations, from patient questions to mental health visits, telehealth is proving to be a valuable and effective service that will likely continue in the future.
(06/30/20) A New Bill Asks Congress to Make Telehealth Coverage Expanded by the CARES Act Permanent
An article discussing a new bill introduced in the House of Representatives seeking to make permanent the telehealth regulations expanded by the CARES Act. The bill calls for ensuring reimbursement and technical assistance to providers to maintain or expand telehealth utilization beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/25/20) Telehealth Privacy and Security: Investment and Education Are Key, Attorney Says
An article highlighting some of the challenges many health care providers are facing in utilizing telehealth services, which were adopted rapidly following closures to clinics in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The author cites recommendations of investing in technology and broadband access, as well as education for both patients and providers as the key to success.
(06/25/20) CMS: Upcoming Medicare Payment Rule to Include Permanent Telehealth Expansions
This article covers upcoming changes to Medicare payment rules to make permanent expansions of telehealth seen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 100 new telehealth services have been made eligible for reimbursement since March 30.
(06/25/20) This is Supposed to Be Telemedicine’s Time to Shine. Why Are Doctors Abandoning it?
An opinion piece discussing some reasons for a reduction in telehealth usage by physicians following the record surge in utilization at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors believe that utilization has dropped as a result of both easing of restrictions for in-person visits as well as uncertainty about the financial stability and reimbursement of telehealth visits.
(06/22/20) APhA Coronavirus Watch: Pharmacists Eye Advocacy for Telehealth
An article covering dialogue at a recent American Pharmacists Association COVID-19 training that encourages pharmacists to advocate for telehealth coverage and to be allowed to provide services via telehealth in the future.
(06/22/20) A Regulatory Response to COVID-19: Unleash Telehealth
An opinion piece covering the use of telehealth services leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic and how the use has rapidly changed since. Some suggestions are then offered for how to move forward and better understand what regulatory changes are necessary to maintain cost-effective, quality telehealth utilization.
(06/22/20) Idaho Gov. Little Signs Executive Order Easing Telehealth Restrictions Permanently
An article describing a new executive order signed by the Governor of Idaho, Brad Little, to make some of the regulatory changes enacted to address the COVID-19 pandemic permanent. The state has seen widespread adoption of telehealth services compared to before the pandemic.
(06/22/20) Lawmakers Want a Full Study of Telehealth During the COVID-19 Crisis
As questions have arisen about the effectiveness and appropriateness of the transition to telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, a bipartisan group of legislatures are seeking a study by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to analyze the use of telehealth in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
(06/22/20) State Efforts to Expand Medicaid Coverage & Access to Telehealth in Response to COVID-19
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation covering the ways in which states expanded telehealth access for Medicaid beneficiaries. This brief covers the broad authority states assume over what services are covered under telehealth in their Medicaid programs, as well as the additional actions taken to improve access for both patients and providers to telehealth technologies.
(06/17/20) Senate HELP Committee Weighs the Future of Telehealth
An article covering the debate among members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on which changes to telehealth should be maintained following the COVID-19 pandemic. Two regulatory changes likely to be maintained include the changes to originating site reimbursement and the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth visits.
(06/17/20) Telemedicine’s Tipping Point
An article discussing how COVID-19 has both been a leap and potential setback for telehealth services in the United States. While awareness of telehealth has greatly improved in the past few months, myths persist and questions about its quality potentially and how to compensate for care lead to issues with long-term transitions to telehealth.
(06/17/20) Telehealth Resource Centers Nationwide Aid Providers at No Cost
The 14 United States Health Resources and Services Administration-funded Telehealth Resource Centers are providing support for health care providers at no cost, and can help guide clinics in implementing telehealth programs effectively and safely both during and beyond the pandemic.
(06/15/20) What Sort of Staying Power Does Telehealth Really Have?
Amidst the widespread adoption and implementation of telehealth technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic, a question remains as to which regulations and what role telehealth will play after the pandemic ends.
(06/15/20) Experts Weigh in on Post-COVID-19 Telehealth Rules and Policies
An article covering some expert opinions on the changes to telehealth that are likely or beneficial post-COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples include changes to state licensure barriers, expanding broadband internet access, changes to health information privacy and data laws, and methods for dealing with fraud and abuse, among others.
(06/15/20) Senators Call for Permanent Changes to Expand Telehealth Access Post-Pandemic
An article covering the calls of at least 30 senators have made in support for expanding telehealth changes made during the pandemic to extend beyond the pandemic. These senators are also calling on the federal government to collect and analyze data on telehealth utilization, quality, and outcomes.
(06/11/20) Staying Connected in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Telehealth at the Largest Safety-Net System in the United States
A commentary published in Health Affairs discussing the use of telehealth at New York City Health + Hospitals amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This public hospital system is the largest in the United States and conducted over 100,000 virtual visits using telehealth technology.
(06/11/20) Telehealth Transformation Under COVID-19 and the Implications for Equitable Care
A podcast from Mathematica covering the implementation of telehealth as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ways in which telehealth enables health care providers to deliver better, more equitable care.
(06/11/20) Internists Encourage Several Major Health Insurers and Associations to Keep Telehealth and Other Flexibilities In Place After the COVID-19 Health Crisis
A press release discussing a series of letters sent by internists with the American College of Physicians calling for private insurers to continue reimbursing for telehealth services following the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/10/20) Louisiana Lawmakers Expand Access To Mental Health Services Via Telehealth
Issues with reaching those in need of behavioral health services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is being addressed by new legislation to expand telehealth guidelines in Louisiana. These expanded guidelines will allow providers to use telehealth to treat their patients, pending a signature from the Louisiana governor.
(06/09/20) Telehealth May Finally Shift Health Care To Be Patient-Centered
An article discussing the potential for the shift to telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to change the healthcare landscape in favor of patient-centered care. The author suggests that telehealth will help eliminate barriers to providing patient-centered care, which is typically burdensome on clinicians who are only receiving pay for procedures and visits.
(06/09/20) ‘I Can’t Imagine Going Back’: Medicare Leader Calls for Expanded Telehealth Access After COVID-19
An article describing comments from Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in which she advocated for maintaining the expansion of telehealth services beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Verma also commented that the federal government must reevaluate how reimbursement for virtual visits will continue forward.
(06/08/20) Rapid Changes To Health System Spurred by COVID Might Be Here To Stay
An article discussing how the typically change-resistant health care landscape of the United States has been fundamentally changed as a result of COVID-19, with changes to telehealth, primary care, and hospitals likely to remain after the pandemic is finished.
(06/05/20) Beyond COVID-19: Telehealth, Partnerships, Member Engagement
An article covering the ways in which some organizations around the United States are addressing COVID-19 and the increased use of telehealth, both during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
(06/04/20) New Survey Shows Higher-Than-Normal Use of Primary Care and Telehealth by Patients
New data from the Larry A. Green Center shows that telehealth use and availability is increasingly common in primary care settings. The data also shows that primary care use has increased compared to 2019, even as overall in-person visitation volume has declined.
(06/03/20) FTC Asks CMS to Lift Telehealth Access, Reimbursement Restrictions Permanently
An article discussing a new letter sent from the Federal Trade Commission to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services calling for removing regulatory barriers for both telehealth and increasing the scope of practice of some non-physician practitioners.
(06/02/20) The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Transformation of Telehealth
An article highlighting the ways in which telehealth usage have changed following widespread adoption in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both rural and urban settings have seen widespread increases in the use of telehealth.
(06/02/20) Telehealth Claim Lines Increase 4,347% Nationally from March 2019 To March 2020
An article covering the rapid growth of telehealth following the initiation of policies to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The most change was experienced in the southern United States and the least was experienced in the northeast.
(06/02/20) How the Rapid Shift to Telehealth Leaves Many Community Health Centers Behind During the COVID-19 Pandemic
A blog post discussing the shift from traditional ambulatory care to telehealth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and how that has impacted community health centers. Issues with receiving payment and lack of training and equipment are among the most critical barriers to broader adoption of telehealth services at community health centers.
(06/02/20) Telehealth Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic
An interview with Andrew J. Schuman of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, discussing how COVID-19 has changed the ways physicians practice medicine.
(05/27/20) The COVID-19 Crisis Created an Urgency for Telehealth. Now, Many Are Hoping It Sticks Around Post-Pandemic
An article highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on the adoption of telehealth technology, including barriers to implementation, how it has worked in practice, and what to expect for the future of telehealth post-COVID-19.
(05/27/20) RI lawmakers OK Bill Requiring Insurers Permanently Cover Telehealth Services
A bill signed into law by the Rhode Island legislature requires health insurers to cover telehealth services permanently. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo initially issued an executive order in March to cover telehealth services for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(05/27/20) Surveys Suggest Seniors Aren’t Using Telehealth During COVID-19 Crisis
An article discussing the results of a recent survey from the Better Medicare Alliance, which found that most elderly adults in the United States are not using telehealth services. Seniors that did use telehealth services reported overwhelming satisfaction with the services and willingness to use telehealth again
(05/27/20) The CMS Broadens Telehealth for Medicare Advantage Patients
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced an expansion to telehealth services for Medicare Advantage plans. The initial rule changes were implemented in response to COVID-19, and now will include specialties such as dermatology, psychiatry, and cardiology, among others
(05/26/20) CMS Modifies Rules to Allow for COVID-19 Tests Without Physician Orders, Expanded Telehealth and Enhanced Payments for Hospital Owned Practices
An article describing new waivers that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have enacted in order to further regulatory flexibility to impact COVID-19 testing, care capacity and the health workforce, and an expansion of telehealth services.
(05/26/20) COVID-19 and Access to Medical Care in the United States
An article from Allison K. Hoffman, a professor of law at University of Pennsylvania Law School, covering the strategies many states have implemented to address the COVID-19 crisis. These include assisting uninsured individuals, regulatory flexibility to health care providers, and increasing access to telehealth.
(05/21/20) After COVID-19: How to Rejuvenate Primary Care for the Future
A blog post discussing some of the innovative changes primary care can make based on what has been practiced during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include increasing utilization of telehealth as well as addressing barriers to access such as payment and organization, including solutions to move beyond those barriers.
(05/21/20) COVID-19 Effect on Mental Health: Patients and Workforce
A statement from a group of psychiatrists published in The Lancet discussing the measures that have been taken in various parts of the world to allow for access of telepsychiatry and training and availability of personal protective equipment for psychiatrists
(05/19/20) 9 Ways COVID-19 May Forever Upend the U.S. Health Care Industry
An article describing some ways in which the health care industry has changed as a result of COVID-19. These include increased adoption and advancement of telehealth technologies, shifts in the long-term care industry to home health care, and changes to scope of practice for non-physician clinicians.
(05/18/20) The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Have a Long-term Impact on Healthcare. Here are 4 Changes to Expect
An article highlighting some of the changes that may become important for delivering health care post-COVID-19 pandemic, including changes to how elective surgeries are performed, increased use of telehealth and more frequent cleaning of facilities.
(05/18/20) COVID-19 and Telehealth Revolution Policy Barriers Are Standing in the Way of Transforming Care
An article describing changes to improve access to health care remotely via telehealth in response to COVID-19. These improvements are time-limited, and risk becoming barriers to telehealth unless they are allowed to become permanent following the COVID-19 pandemic.
(05/15/20) Telehealth Policy in a Post-COVID-19 World
This webinar from Mei Wa Kwong, Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy of the Public Health Institute, examines how the policy changes in response to COVID-19 will change telehealth services post-COVID-19
(05/13/20) COVID-19 Related State Actions
An updated list from the Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy on regulatory changes to telehealth and telemedicine practices across the United States, with clear descriptions of legal changes and sources linked for each state.
(05/13/20) Psychiatrists ‘Pleasantly Surprised’ With Transition to Telemedicine
An article describing the forced shift for psychiatrists to telemedicine based treatment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some benefits and disadvantages are listed, with most psychiatrists reporting a desire to return to in-person practice beyond the pandemic.
(05/11/20) Opportunities and Barriers for Telemedicine in the U.S. During the COVID-19 Emergency and Beyond
An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlighting the opportunities and issues relating to telehealth implementation in response to COVID-19. These include state and federal government responses as well as those implemented at the organization level by insurers and health systems.
(05/11/20) As MH Workforce Evolves During COVID-19, Telehealth Seen as New Normal
A newsletter describing the impact of COVID-19 on how the mental health workforce provides health care. Recent shifts to telehealth may become integrated in treatment after the pandemic has passed.
(05/08/20) Ensuring the Growth of Telehealth During COVID-19 Does Not Exacerbate Disparities in Care
A blog post describing how the move to provide health care services remotely via telehealth has the potential to leave many people behind, including minority and elderly populations. The post also includes potential solutions to reduce barriers and increase access to telehealth.
(04/30/20) COVID-19 Telehealth Coverage Policies
An updated list from the Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy on federally made changes to telehealth laws from CMS, including specific non-permanent emergency actions taken for COVID-19.
(04/27/20) Telehealth Strategies
This National Governors Association memorandum discusses strategies for governors seeking to improve coverage and access to telehealth services in a manner that best addresses the COVID -19 pandemic.
(04/27/20) Navigating the Workforce Implications of COVID-19
Consultants from the Deloitte Consulting group outline strategies to address workforce issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 outbreak. These strategies include empowering the clinical workforce, improving telehealth usage and supporting remote work policies.
(04/14/20) Home Health Care Workers at Tipping Point Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
An article discussing the issues facing home health workers including lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and increased demand for home health services as individuals are avoiding hospital and nursing home treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak. The article also discusses increased use of telehealth from the home and calls for industrial reform to the home care industry.
(04/02/20) Silver Linings in State Responses to COVID-19
An article about 5 state responses to COVID-19 including: occupational licensing, scope of practice regulation, telemedicine and telehealth regulation, continuing education requirements, and Certificate-of-Need (CON) Laws.
(03/11/20) Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for COVID-19
This article explains the workflow and benefits of telehealth given the current circumstances around COVID-19.