WASHINGTON, DC, NOVEMBER 3, 2023 – The American Telemedicine Association and ATA Action acknowledge the significance of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) publication of its calendar year (CY) 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, notably the extension allowing providers who render telehealth services from their homes to list their practice address instead of their home address on their Medicare enrollment, through the end of 2024. ATA Action, in its comments to the proposed rules, had called for this exact extension, emphasizing the need to maintain the confidentiality and security of the provider’s address. Most recently, in partnership with the Alliance for Connected Care, ATA Action led a stakeholder letter to CMS with over 100 signatories requesting permanent extension of this flexibility.
Importantly, in the CMS fact sheet on the final rule, it recognizes the advantages of telehealth, stating “Telehealth services, both audiovisual and audio-only, have enabled individuals in rural and underserved areas to have improved access to care.”
“Clinicians, their loved ones, and other stakeholders can breathe a sigh of relief – at least until the end of 2024 – that Medicare providers will not be required to publicly report their home address as their practice location. This reprieve will help to maintain the safety and privacy of physicians and removes a significant roadblock to access to care,” said Kyle Zebley, senior vice president, public policy, the ATA, and executive director, ATA Action. “We are incredibly proud to see so many of the flexibilities we’ve fought for extended, in order to allow time for policymakers to thoughtfully create the right provisions that will best serve millions of individuals and dedicated clinicians wanting to provide care to their patients.
“With nearly all of the flexibilities established during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) extended until the end of 2024, we can expect a telehealth policy “Super Bowl” at the end of next year,” Zebley added. “We have the unprecedented opportunity to impact transformative changes to how healthcare is delivered. The ATA and ATA Action team has a solid gameplan, to continue working with the Administration and members of Congress, to ensure permanent access to virtual care services for all individuals, whenever and wherever they need it.”
ATA EDGE POLICY CONFERENCE – December 13-15, Washington, DC
The ATA’s annual EDGE Policy Conference will answer questions about where federal and state virtual care policy stands during this extension period and what lies ahead.
Recap of Key Telehealth Extensions Through 2024
- DEA extension of the in-person waiver, revolutionizing the remote prescription of relevant controlled substances
- 2022 Omnibus Legislation included a number of Medicare enhancements, including:
- Geographic and originating sites flexibilities
- Inclusion of diverse telehealth practitioners (i.e., occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists)
- Empowerment of federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and rural health clinics (RHCs) to offer extended telehealth services
- Eased in-person requirements and continued telehealth recertification for hospice care; eliminated face-to-face telehealth requirements for telemental health and the Acute Hospital Care at Home Program
- High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA) telehealth tax provision
- Virtual direct supervision flexibility
- Periodic assessments to be furnished using audio-only technology for patients receiving treatment via buprenorphine, methadone, and/or naltrexone at Opioid Treatment Programs
- Temporary removal of the telehealth frequency limitations for telehealth services in skilled nursing facilities, as well as for critical care consultation services
About ATA Action
ATA Action recognizes that telehealth and virtual care have the potential to transform the healthcare delivery system by improving patient outcomes, enhancing the safety and effectiveness of care, addressing health disparities, and reducing costs. ATA Action is a registered 501c6 entity and an affiliated trade organization of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).
About the ATA
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. The ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of leading healthcare delivery systems, academic institutions, technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models.
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