On May 16, 2024, the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (the “Subcommittee”) announced that it advanced the Telehealth Modernization Act of 2024 (H.R. 7623) as amended (the “Bill”) during a markup session. The Bill is meant to extend a number of telehealth flexibilities under Medicare through 2026. This corresponded with 22 other bills advanced by the Subcommittee to strengthen access to healthcare.Continue Reading Congress Seeks to Extend COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities Through 2026 and Expand Reimbursement

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently released its “Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2022” (the “Report”), highlighting continued enforcement and recovery actions under the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (HCFAC). During fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022), over $1.7 billion was returned through HCFAC’s enforcement actions.Continue Reading HHS & DOJ FY 2022 Enforcement Targeted Fraud in COVID-19, Telemedicine, Opioid and Prescription Drugs, and Substance Use Treatment Centers, Among Other Initiatives

This month, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”), issued a Second Temporary Rule further extending the telemedicine waivers of the Ryan Haight Act (“RHA”) promulgated during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) from November 11, 2023 until December 31, 2024. Under the Second Temporary Rule, practitioners may continue to prescribe schedule II-V controlled medications via telemedicine for new and existing patients without conducting a prior in-person medical evaluation through 2024. Continue Reading Tele-Prescribing Flexibilities Extended Again in Second Temporary Rule

This week, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”), issued a temporary rule extending the telemedicine waivers of the Ryan Haight Act (“RHA”) promulgated during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“PHE”). This is notable as access to care, including mental health and substance abuse treatment, remains a crucial industry focus, especially as the transition to the post-PHE has begun.Continue Reading DEA and SAMHSA Extend Tele-Prescribing Flexibilities

This blog is the third installment of our Digital Health Trends Series, see previous blog posts here and here.

On February 24, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) announced a new proposed rule, which provides some much-anticipated guidance related to the implications of telemedicine prescribing under Ryan Haight Act of 2008 (“RHA”) after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) terminates on May 11, 2023. The proposed rule extends certain flexibilities beyond the PHE and proposes to make permanent certain scenarios, in which a practitioner may prescribe controlled substances without a prior in-person medical evaluation.Continue Reading DEA Proposes Rule for Post-PHE Telemedicine

The once-novel medium of telehealth surged onto the stage as a common sense solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge was facilitated, in part, by certain flexibilities authorized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in its response to the public health emergency (“PHE”) declared in March of 2020 and which was repeatedly renewed until now. On January 30, 2023, President Joe Biden announced that the PHE would end on May 11, 2023. As the curtains are drawn on the PHE, there can be no doubt that telehealth is here to stay. In light of that reality, it is essential that participants in the telehealth space understand what flexibilities will remain in play.Continue Reading Telehealth in a Post-PHE World

On February 13, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the revised List of Telehealth Services for Calendar Year (CY) 2023 (List). The List includes the services that are payable under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule when furnished via telehealth.Continue Reading CMS Updates List of Telehealth Services for CY 2023

Introduction

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the “Act”). The Act provides for nearly $1.7 trillion in funding across a range of domestic

Continue Reading Key Healthcare Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023

The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (“PHE”) led to a rapid expansion in the utilization of telehealth. Now, almost three years later, governmental entities have focused their attention on telehealth services and the potential for fraud and abuse. In July 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issue a Special Fraud Alert alerting practitioners to exercise caution when entering into arrangements with telemedicine companies. The issuance of this report is a significant step and reinforces the government’s interest in scrutinizing telehealth arrangements. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) have also launched several high-profile investigations that the industry is monitoring closely. Telehealth providers should carefully review and update their practices given the heightened enforcement climate.Continue Reading Recent Developments in Telehealth Enforcement

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare coverage expanded to include a vast arsenal of tools that help patients access medical services while keeping patients and practitioners safe. Many of these tools involve telehealth services and were made possible by the COVID-19 emergency blanket waivers, which went into effect when the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) declared a Public Health Emergency (the “PHE”). Some of these tools:Continue Reading Finding Our Way Out of the Pandemic Haze: What Telehealth Tools Are Medicare Providers Allowed to Keep, and Which Must They Leave Behind?

On July 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Special Fraud Alert warning physicians and other practitioners to exercise caution when entering into telemedicine arrangements that have certain suspect characteristics.Continue Reading OIG Warns Physicians About Entering into Arrangements with Telemedicine Companies