CMS Clears up Murky Reimbursement Issues & more Telehealth Buzz

BHCOE Provides Telehealth Accreditation Standards for Autism Care

  • In light of COVID-19, the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) has established new standards of care for providing applied behavioral analysis therapy via telehealth.
  • Routine and schedules are extremely important for children with autism and other developmental disorders; changes in routine are often harmful to the child’s progress.
  • COVID-19 has disrupted many of these children’s abilities to see their medical providers in person, interrupting their routine and resulting in potential regress.
  • BHCOE’s website provides a telehealth standards checklist, addressing the following topics: organizational compliance; human resources; patient intake; clinical practice, technology, privacy, and security.
  • Read the full story here.

CMS Clears up Murky Reimbursement Issues

  • The CARES Act authorizes federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health clinics (RHCs) to use even more connected healthcare platforms during COVID-19.
  • However, the act did not clear up already confusing issues of reimbursement for providing medical services via telehealth.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a clarifying document on Friday, detailing the specifics on reimbursement under the new Medicare changes.
  • For one thing, not only can FQHCs and RHCs use telehealth on-site, practitioners, for those clinics, may also use telehealth from the comforts of their homes. Those services provided from home qualify for reimbursement under the Physician Fee Schedule.
  • It is important to note these standards are only for the duration of the pandemic. The CMS and others will have to revisit telehealth’s role once the pandemic subsides.
  • Read the full story here.

Illinois Mental Telehealth in Conflict with Insurance Over Reimbursement

  • Illinois mental health practitioners have watched their patient loads double during COVID-19 because they can now meet with their patients via connected health platforms.
  • However, reimbursement remains a significant headache for providers.
  • Insurance companies were only reimbursing for services rendered through telehealth as long as telehealth was an established policy within the practice, which it is not for many.
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a new telehealth program that included a mental health hotline the same day the FCC authorized $200 million for funding.
  • Insurance companies have altered their previous stance on telehealth reimbursement, but there is still a pretty large variance in coverage.
  • Read the full story here.

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