This week, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) proposed the Equal Access to Care Act (the “EACA”), which would allow licensed providers to provide services via telehealth in any state, in any location for up to 180 days after the end of the public health emergency period.
Continue Reading The Post COVID-19 World: Continued Focus on Relaxing Telehealth Barriers

On April 27, Sheppard Mullin and Citrin Cooperman released a white paper entitled “Telehealth Development: Addressing the Current Need, While Strategically Position for the Future” addressing how federal and state regulators are promoting the expansion of telehealth. Healthcare organizations, of all types and sizes, are working to respond to the rapidly-changing regulatory environment. While there is uncertainty as to what extent these regulatory changes will remain in effect following the public health emergency period, it will be critical for all healthcare organizations to establish a strong foundation for a more permanent telehealth strategy after the crisis is over.
Continue Reading Release of Telehealth Video Series and Readiness Assessment

As the COVID-19 emergency continues to heavily impact the U.S. and its health care system, CMS has issued additional flexibilities for providers and payors seeking to respond to the pandemic.  These new flexibilities are described both in revisions to CMS’ blanket waivers and in a new Interim Final Rule with comment period, both issued on April 30.  Many of these flexibilities are responsive to questions and requests submitted to CMS over the past few weeks, providers’ experiences with developing and implementing pandemic response plans, and the regulatory obstacles they have encountered.  While these new flexibilities will not eliminate all of the regulatory challenges currently facing providers responding to COVID-19, and providers must be careful to continue to track the scope of CMS’ flexibilities, they will be very helpful to many providers in their ongoing COVID-19 response efforts.  In particular, and among other things, CMS’ new guidance expands flexibility for telehealth services, provides additional support for COVID-19 testing, relaxes additional regulatory requirements applicable to certain payors, provides other key regulatory flexibilities, and offers guidance to MSSP ACOs on payment calculations for periods affected by the public health emergency.
Continue Reading CMS Updates Waivers, Provides More Flexibility for Providers Responding to COVID-19

The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 has created a myriad of challenges for healthcare providers to safely meet the evolving needs of their patients solely through a traditional in-person model. Telehealth has quickly shifted from a “nice-to-have” strategy to an essential tool for all healthcare organizations.
Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin and Citrin Cooperman Rollout Telehealth Maturity Model

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the California Department of Managed Health Care (the “DMHC”) released a guidance letter (the “Letter”) to all health care service plans regarding billing for and delivering telehealth services during the COVID-19 state of emergency.  The Letter provides  follow-up guidance to previous guidance the DMHC released on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 (the “Initial Guidance”).  The DMHC has also provided additional information regarding the most frequently asked telehealth questions it has received (the “FAQs”).
Continue Reading California Department of Managed Health Care Releases Additional Guidance on Telehealth Services

As a follow up, to our post from Thursday, April 9, 2020, today, the FCC announced that it will  begin accepting applications for its $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program (“Program”). Health care providers can submit applications at the FCC’s Program Webpage, but should be sure to follow previous guidance for pre- and post-filing requirements.  A full breakdown can be viewed in our previous post here.  The FCC has also released a filing guide and a webinar advising health care providers on the application process.
Continue Reading FCC Now Accepting COVID-19 Telehealth Program Applications

On April 2, 2020, the FCC announced plans for a $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program (the “Program”) to support health care providers responding to the pandemic.  (FCC 20-44).  The Program will use funds allocated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide broadband connectivity services and devices that will improve and expand current telehealth capabilities in areas hit hardest by the virus.

Continue Reading FCC Announces $200 Million Telehealth Fund In Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic