Urgent care operators who offer telehealth services should be aware that the House of Representatives just passed the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act. As the name implies, the legislation extends policies initiated to help facilitate access to healthcare as many patients shied away from face-to-face encounters in medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those most applicable in the urgent care setting:
- Beneficiaries who fall under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services can receive covered telehealth services at any site, regardless of the type or location
- Reimbursement is available for treating physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, in addition to clinical social workers, midwives, and registered dieticians
- Any provider who can currently bill Medicare for services can now bill for telemedicine services
- Remote monitoring via smart devices and apps, as well as audio-only telemedicine calls are covered under the act
- Federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics are included
The bill will have to pass through the Senate, as well, before being signed into law.
Congress Opens the Door to Extend Reimbursement for Telehealth Services