Partner Nate Lacktman was quoted in an mHealth Intelligence article, “Questions Arise Over Medicare Coverage for Mental Health Services by Telehealth,” about a sentence tucked into last year’s pandemic relief bill that sets requirements for in-person care before Medicare will cover mental health care services via telehealth.
The article cites a blog post by Lacktman, chair of the firm’s Telemedicine & Digital Health Industry Team, as the first to address the issue head-on.
“Little legislative history is readily available that reflects Congressional lawmakers discussing the merits of Section 123’s requirement for an in-person exam,” Lacktman wrote. “To be fair, at 5,593 pages and $2.3 trillion, this legislation is the longest bill ever passed by Congress and one of the largest spending measures ever enacted. But the in-person exam requirement is at odds with the direction that telehealth policy has moved over the last decade. It disrupts Medicare’s historical approach, which is to defer to state laws on professional practice requirements and clinical standards of care.”