CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Request for Comments: due no later than 5 p.m. on October 5, 2020
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been working to improve access to telehealth services. Starting in 2019, Medicare began paying for virtual clinical check-ins, meaning patients can briefly connect with doctors by phone or video chat to see whether they need to come in for a visit. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS expanded payment for telehealth services so that Medicare beneficiaries can get convenient and high-quality care from the comfort of their home while avoiding unnecessary exposure to the COVID-19 virus. CMS is now reviewing the temporary changes made and assessing which should be made permanent through regulatory action.
Changes are also proposed for the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act which would establish a new Medicare Part B benefit for opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment services including the creation of two new codes for nasal naloxone and another add-on code for auto-injector naloxone.