Lacktman, Wein and Ferrante Cited in mHealth Intelligence About New CMS Physician Fee Schedule for Telehealth Coverage

06 August 2020 mHealth Intelligence News
mHealth Intelligence cited a recent blog post written by Foley Partner Nathaniel Lacktman, Of Counsel Emily Wein and Senior Counsel T.J. Ferrante in the article, “How CMS Changes, Trump’s Executive Order Affect Telehealth Coverage,” which discussed how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services long-anticipated plan to expand telehealth coverage beyond the current pandemic has now been made public.
An advance copy of the proposed 2021 Physician Fee Schedule contains several changes to current Medicare coverage, including highlighting new opportunities for remote patient monitoring and adding nine new billing codes for connected health services. Supporters say the changes offer providers a strong transition from the emergency measures now in effect to deal with COVID-19, while some have said the changes don’t go far enough to keep the momentum going.
“Compared to last year, where CMS made only minor additions to telehealth services, the changes proposed for 2021 are bold and designed to more deliberately expand the use of telehealth technologies among Medicare beneficiaries,” Lacktman, Wein and Ferrante wrote in a post on the firm’s health care blog.
CMS is expanding the telehealth platform to allow supervising physicians to now supervise via real-time, interactive, audio-visual telemedicine. The new definition opens opportunities for telehealth and incident-to billing,” the Foley team said. “CMS acknowledged there are no Medicare regulations that explicitly prohibit eligible distant site practitioners from billing for telehealth services provided incident-to their services. But because the current definition of direct supervision requires on-site presence of the billing clinician when the service is provided, it is difficult for a billing clinician to fulfill direct supervision of services provided via telehealth incident-to their professional services by auxiliary personnel. Under the new definition, CMS believes services provided incident to the professional services of an eligible distant site physician or practitioner could be reported when they meet direct supervision requirements at both the originating and distant site through the virtual presence of the billing physician or practitioner.”