The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it added 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth list. The agency did so using the expedited process for adding telehealth services outlined in its May interim final rule (details). These services are therefore temporarily added under the emergency authority granted to CMS during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).
The 11 new services added to the Medicare telehealth list on a temporary basis are the following:
|Code||CMS Short Descriptor|
|93750||Interrogation vad in person|
|95970||Alys npgt w/o prgrmg|
|95971||Alys smpl sp/pn npgt w/prgrm|
|95972||Alys cplx sp/pn npgt w/prgrm|
|95983||Alys brn npgt prgrmg 15 min|
|95984||Alys brn npgt prgrmg addl 15|
|G0422||Intens cardiac rehab w/exerc|
|G0423||Intens cardiac rehab no exer|
|G0424||Pulmonary rehab w exer|
Please note that none of the above codes may be furnished via audio-only technologies (i.e., telephone-only devices).
In addition, CMS also announced multiple telehealth developments for Medicaid:
- First, CMS released a new data snapshot on telehealth utilization among Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries. The analysis shows that beneficiaries accessed 34,538,375 telehealth services between March and June 2020, marking a 2,632 percent increase from the same time period in the year prior. Among these beneficiaries, working age adults made up the largest portion of those accessing telehealth, followed next by children and hen by adults 65 years old and above. The snapshot also displays the extent to which beneficiaries accessed telehealth services by state of residence.
- CMS also released a State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit, which it intends for policymakers to use as support for expanding access to telehealth services in their respective Medicaid programs. CMS says the toolkit will pose questions that states should ask themselves when establishing new telehealth policies, and offer considerations and examples for states to reference as they begin deploying additional telehealth capabilities. Specifically, the report includes:
- State Considerations: Beginning on p. 5, CMS recommends states account for the population being served; the service being delivered; the service provider; and the technology being used when making telehealth policies.
- Pediatric Considerations: CMS outlines additional considerations for pediatric populations on p. 6-7. The agency includes discussion on how adolescent patients may prefer to use telehealth services, privacy laws, provider licensure and credentialing requirements for pediatrics, etc.
- State Checklist: Beginning on p. 8, the toolkit outlines a checklist for states to reference as they assess their respective telehealth environments (including considerations for populations, services, providers, payment rates, technology, managed care, and additional considerations).
- FAQs: The toolkit concludes with a series of FAQs on p. 16, spanning issue areas such as benefit flexibilities, financing flexibilities, workforce flexibilities, managed care flexibilities, health information exchange flexibilities, and T-MSIS coding guidance.