Learn More About Potential Upcoming Changes to Telehealth Regulatory Compliance
The public health emergency declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid shift in state and federal regulatory policy toward telehealth. However, many of the telehealth regulatory changes that have been solidified over the last two years are set to come to an end.
The end of the public health declaration’s emergency provisions will create new organizational risks for healthcare providers.
Broadly, the pandemic-related telehealth regulatory compliance changes can be broken down into the following four categories:
- HIPAA Flexibility: This policy shift allowed physicians and healthcare providers to use any “non-public facing” (accessible only to those who have been invited) video conference technology, even if it does not meet normal HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification standards. This allowed telehealth visits to be completed using common consumer-facing applications such as Apple’s FaceTime and Facebook’s Messenger video features.
- Medicare and Medicaid Policies: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued several changes impacting the reimbursement of telehealth.
- Licensure Requirements: Multiple states issued temporary licenses to physicians licensed in other states to increase access to telehealth services during the pandemic. For physicians providing specific COVID-19 preventative services, many licensure requirements were waived altogether.
- Prescription of Controlled Substances: Prescribers gained the ability to prescribe controlled substances to patients regardless of their geographical location. Additionally, qualified prescribers gained the ability to initiate Buprenorphine treatment for opiate-use disorder via both audio-only and video-based telehealth visits.
When the COVID-19 pandemic emergency declaration comes to an end, many of the provisions listed above which supported wider adoption and access to telehealth services are likely to end as well. This leaves many healthcare providers scrambling for answers and desperate to know what to expect in the coming years.
Right now, all across the United States, healthcare leaders are engaged in tense conversations with their legislators seeking guidance around what to expect when the emergency provisions of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency expire.
Telehealth adoption and use absolutely exploded during the pandemic and the easing of regulations made all of that possible:
- A recent survey by Prosper Insights and Analytics found that 36% of US adults accessed telehealth services at some point during the pandemic.
- More than 71% of patients hope to continue using telehealth services in a post-pandemic world.
- To match that consumer demand,76% of healthcare networks identified expanding telemedicine insurance offerings as a major strategic goal.
However, right now, many providers have questions about the future of telehealth and are desperate for answers about what to expect in the coming years. Navigating post-pandemic changes to telehealth is a major topic of consideration for c-suite executives for good reason.
Join Our Upcoming Webinar to Learn More About the Regulatory Changes Underway Impacting Telehealth
On Wednesday, July 27th Adam Brown MD MBA, Founder of the Adam Brown Impact Group, Daniel S. Zinsmaster, Partner of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, and eVisit’s Chief Strategy Officer, Julie Stover will present a panel discussion titled Avoid the Telehealth Cliff: Managing Risk in Virtual Care.
Sign up today to receive complimentary access to this opportunity to learn more about the shifting landscape of telehealth regulatory compliance requirements.
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