CMS: Permanent telehealth changes coming to home health

June 25, 2020


CMS wants to make permanent changes to telehealth flexibilities for home health providers, the agency said Thursday.

The Trump administration loosened telehealth restrictions for home health providers during the COVID-19 pandemic but now wants them to go beyond the public health emergency. According to the proposed rule, CMS is looking to bump pay for home health providers by 2.6% overall, or about $540 million.

For now “home health agencies can continue to utilize telecommunications technologies in providing care to beneficiaries under the Medicare home health benefit beyond the COVID-19 (public health emergency), as long as the telecommunications technology is related to the skilled services being furnished, is outlined on the plan of care, and is tied to a specific goal indicating how such use would facilitate treatment outcomes,” CMS said in a fact sheet.

The agency is proposing a 5% cap on wage index cuts for 2021 and finalizing changes to home infusion therapy that must go into effect by January 1 under the 21st Century Cures Act.

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