Telehealth Extension and the Public Health Emergency

CMS has provided a 151-day extension waiver for all Telehealth services beyond the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE), currently set to expire on April 16th (expected to be extended for an additional 90 days). This Telehealth Extension was passed on 3/10/22. There is an additional legislative effort underway pushing for a permanent extension of Telehealth and another, perhaps more likely to pass at this point, which is for a 2-year extension with additional studies, data analysis and consensus toward the development of formal policy. Of note, the permanent extension (HR 2168/PS 3193) clearly names practitioners included in our SNF-based setting billing via UBO4’s involving CPT codes utilized in our setting to bill. Of importance is the overall impact on access to care via Telehealth. An additional note is the SMART Act which addresses the 15% assistant cut is still on the table and continues to gather support to be included with active legislation.

Let's Get to the Point:

Telehealth has been a valued option for care providers to address the needs of patients and provide access to care. This extension of 151 days beyond the end of the PHE is a welcomed sign of potential long-term availability.