Skip to main content

Health Care

Viewpoints

Filter by:

Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

White House Issues Telehealth Guidance on Substance Use Disorder Services

July 11, 2022 | Blog | By Lara Compton, Cody Keetch, Jean D. Krebs

On June 22, 2022, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) issued guidance advocating for Congress and federal agencies to make permanent certain telehealth access measures for people struggling with substance use disorders (SUD). The guidance, titled Telehealth and Substance Use Disorder Services in the Era of Covid-19: Review and Recommendations (Guidance), made four recommendations geared at increasing telehealth access, utilization, and equity among individuals who have experienced an SUD. This blogpost with provide an analysis of the four recommendations and their implications. 
Read more
Podcast Viewpoint Image
Telehealth has the potential to counteract historical disparities in access to health care. Listen to hear how Andy Ward, Director of the South Boston Collaborative Center, and Kate Steinle, Chief Clinical Officer of Folx Health, are leveraging telehealth to serve their communities.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Potential Pitfalls of Telehealth Prescribing

May 31, 2022 | Blog | By Lara Compton, Ellen Janos, Cassandra Paolillo

As we’ve previously covered, while Congress has acted to extend certain COVID-era telehealth flexibilities (mostly related to Medicare coverage) beyond the Public Health Emergency (PHE), the future of prescribing controlled substances via telehealth is uncertain.  Although the American Telemedicine Association and other industry groups continue to advocate for changes to allow telehealth providers to prescribe controlled substances in certain circumstances, without further action by Congress or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), telehealth providers who prescribe controlled substances will need to conduct an in-person examination of the patient once the PHE ends. 
Read more
Webinar Reference Image

Webinar Recording: Telehealth Risk Management

April 6, 2022 | Webinar | By Nancy Adams, Lara Compton, Todd Rosenbaum, Jennifer Rubin

Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
Last week saw a lot of great news in the world of telehealth. On March 15, President Biden signed into law H.R. 2471, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022”, which extends many of the Medicare telehealth flexibilities put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic for a period following the end of the Public Health Emergency (“PHE”). The same day, the OIG issued a report highlighting the positive impact telehealth had on increasing access for beneficiaries during the first year of the pandemic. Then, during a press conference on March 18, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said that HHS will seek to sustain and expand access to telehealth services after the public health emergency ends. While these developments signal the continued expansion of telehealth, there is still some uncertainty surrounding coverage, reimbursement and licensure flexibilities that have allowed telehealth to flourish for the past two years.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Telehealth Update: New Bill Could Provide Much Needed Certainty to Providers and Patients

February 10, 2022 | Blog | By Ellen Janos, Cassandra Paolillo

On Monday, February 7, 2022, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, and Todd Young, R-Indiana, introduced the Telehealth Extension and Evaluation Act, which if passed, would extend several of the telehealth waivers for two years after the end of the federal public health emergency (PHE). See our previous coverage of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PHE was most recently renewed for an additional 90 days on January 16, 2022. Since January 2020, providers who pivoted to telehealth in order to deliver care to their patients during the pandemic have had to closely monitor the status of the PHE, which the Secretary of HHS is only authorized to extend for 90 days at a time. Passage of the proposed legislation would provide some much-needed certainty and would give providers time to transition back to in-person care where necessary. It would also further the growth and expansion of telehealth services and continued integration into our health care delivery system.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
Last week, CMS announced its final Physician Fee Schedule Payment Policies (the “Final Rule”), which will become effective January 1, 2022. The Final Rule included several updates to Medicare coverage of telehealth services, including a number of COVID-19 related changes that will be extended or be made permanent. As previously covered, while temporary orders allowing expanded use of telehealth have increased access to care across the country during the public health emergency (“PHE”), the regulatory environment for telehealth has always been somewhat unsettled. The changes in the Final Rule described below signal a move towards increased access to telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries as regulators acknowledge the potential benefits of these alternate methods of delivering care.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Five Takeaways from DOJ’s Latest National Enforcement Action, Including Continued Focus on Opioids and Telemedicine

September 27, 2021 | Blog | By Sarah Beth Kuyers, Brian Dunphy, Karen Lovitch

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced its latest national enforcement action related to health care fraud (National Enforcement Action) in which DOJ filed criminal charges against 142 defendants. The National Enforcement Action, which alleges losses of $1.4 billion due to false or fraudulent billings, follows similar DOJ “take downs” over the last several years in that it focuses on telemedicine providers and the opioid crisis. This post provides five takeaways from the National Enforcement Action.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
As we’ve previously covered, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a major increase in the prevalence of telehealth services, due in large part to regulatory flexibilities at the federal and state levels. Beginning in March 2020, state Medicaid programs across the country loosened requirements for coverage of telehealth services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries, reducing barriers by allowing audio-only services and covering a broader scope of services delivered via telehealth. The increase in telehealth has resulted in improved access to behavioral health services in particular, but according to an OIG report issued earlier this week, state Medicaid programs will need to increase their oversight of these services if the telehealth flexibilities become permanent.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
As previously discussed, many of the telehealth flexibilities in place during the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire at the end of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE), unless federal and state legislators act to make the changes permanent. A recent bill introduced by Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL) suggests that Congress is interested in expanding access to telehealth services for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries if the benefits of increased access to telehealth can be demonstrated. According to a press release issued by Representative Kelly’s office, “Telehealth has the potential to help equalize healthcare access for underserved populations. However, we need data to understand utilization, cost, fraud, privacy and how to serve those left behind by the digital divide.”
Read more
Podcast Viewpoint Image

Health Law Diagnosed — Telehealth Transformation: Where We Are and Where We’re Headed

April 9, 2021 | Podcast | By Ellen Janos, Cassandra Paolillo

The ability to provide health care from a remote location has been around for many years, but with the arrival of COVID-19, hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers have had to rapidly rethink their traditional models of health care delivery.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Telehealth Update: States Move to Permanently Expand Access to Telehealth

March 30, 2021 | Blog | By Cassandra Paolillo, Ellen Janos

Over the past year the telehealth landscape has been a patchwork of temporary waivers and regulations, expanding access during the COVID-19 pandemic but leaving providers and patients uncertain about whether the positive coverage and reimbursement changes and relaxation of pre-pandemic restrictions would continue in the future. In recent weeks, we have seen a number of state actions making permanent changes to expand access to telehealth. These changes suggest a positive trend towards making telehealth an integral part of the care delivery system, although the complicated regulatory frameworks still present challenges to providers seeking to treat patients via telehealth.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Health Care Enforcement Kept the DOJ Fraud Section Busy in 2020

March 8, 2021 | Blog | By Eoin Beirne, Grady Campion

On February 24, 2021, DOJ’s Criminal Division Fraud Section published its annual year-end summary. The Fraud Section focuses on prosecuting white-collar crime. The report summarizes enforcement activity in the past year and discusses notable cases from the Fraud Section’s three litigation units: (1) the Health Care Fraud (HCF) Unit; (2) the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Unit; and (3) the Market Integrity and Major Frauds (MIMF) Unit. In summarizing the Fraud Section’s main achievements from 2020, the report also provides valuable insights on what lies ahead for the Fraud Section in 2021. This post focuses on the health care enforcement portion of the Fraud Section’s report.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
As COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise in areas of the country, telehealth continues to play an important role in the delivery of healthcare, especially to those most vulnerable to the virus. Existing telehealth waivers continue in effect under the Public Health Emergency, and new legislation seeks to expand telehealth access through home health services. Plus, join us for a webinar on the future of telehealth.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
On August 4, CMS posted a proposed rule on CY 2021 Payment Policies, which included important updates about the expansion of Medicare covered telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we cover this and other important developments related to telehealth access during the pandemic and beyond.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Massachusetts Adopts Permanent Telehealth Policy for the First Time

July 1, 2020 | Blog | By Sarah Beth Kuyers, Ellen Janos

Last Thursday, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine (BORIM) approved its first permanent telehealth policy. The Board had previously approved this policy on an “interim” basis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 16, 2020. This policy is an important step for the Massachusetts BORIM as it had previously hesitated to provide any formal guidance on the practice of telehealth.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
In an interview yesterday, CMS administrator Seema Verma expressed support for permanently expanding access to telehealth services after the COVID-19 public health emergency resolves. Here, we explore the nature and duration of the temporary executive and regulatory orders, emergency legislation, and sub-regulatory guidance, which have resulted greater access to telehealth while leaving a fair amount of uncertainty as to what the future of telehealth looks like.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

FTC Comments on New Medicare Rule in Support of Expanded Telehealth Services

June 4, 2020 | Blog | By Evan Moore, Joseph Miller

On May 29th, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) submitted a comment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in support of reducing reimbursement requirements for telehealth services. CMS accepted public comments for its new Interim Final Rule published on April 6, 2020, 85 FR 19230, which changes the Medicare payment regulations to allow for more flexible Medicare service options in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to supporting CMS’s new Interim Final Rule, FTC’s comment recommends permanent measures and further steps to take. The comment offers a valuable insight into the Commission’s stance on telemedicine in relation to health care competition.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail

Telehealth Reimbursement Continues to Expand for Medicare and Medicaid

May 6, 2020 | Blog | By Sarah Beth Kuyers, Ellen Janos

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced additional waivers of limitations on Medicare reimbursement of telehealth services and updated its summary of COVID-19 blanket waivers. We’ve previously blogged about actions by CMS and other federal and state agencies to increase access to and encourage utilization of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic through loosening of restrictions on telehealth reimbursement (see here and here). CMS is now taking additional steps to further these goals. Below is a summary of the major changes that CMS announced last week.
Read more
Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has introduced uncertainty and unique challenges in nearly every aspect of life. During this unprecedented time, Mintz is working to keep our clients and community informed and empowered to navigate this new world. To that end, we’ve created a number of webinars on a variety of COVID-19-related topics of interest to health care industry stakeholders. In case you missed them, here’s a highlights reel of what we’ve covered so far – just click on the links below to access the webinar recordings.
Read more

Explore Other Viewpoints: