Lacktman Quoted on Proposed Coverage for Audio-Only Telehealth Services

27 July 2021 mHealth Intelligence News

Partner Nate Lacktman was quoted in an mHealth Intelligence article, “Examining the Benefits and Challenges of Audio-Only Telehealth,” about the ongoing debate over whether audio-only telehealth is a proper method for health care delivery and if doctors should be reimbursed for it.

In a recent blog post explaining a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to cover audio-only telehealth services for mental health care in its 2022 Physician Fee Index, Lacktman, chair of the firm’s national Telemedicine & Digital Health Industry Team, pointed out that mental health services differ clinically from most other Medicare telehealth services in that mental health care often involves verbal conversation, where visualization between the patient and the practitioner may be less critical.

“Considering the social determinants that affect an individual’s ability to receive mental health care, assessing clinical safety, and recognizing that patients may have come to rely upon the use of audio-only technology to receive mental health care, CMS opined that terminating the audio-only flexibility at the end of the (public health emergency) could harm access to care,” he wrote.