In response to COVID-19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has significantly broadened access to Medicare reimbursable telehealth services. Most significantly, Medicare patients may now access their healthcare providers via live video link from their homes. These telehealth appointments are not limited to COVID-19 related concerns and are intended to keep patients in their homes rather than in the physician’s office.
Brief phone check-ins are also available for existing patients to discuss concerns with their physicians.
Further, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a new policy allowing physicians to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine without an in-person medical evaluation. The following conditions must be met in order to prescribe via telemedicine:
• The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice.
• The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system.
• The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State law.
For more information about how CMS and the DEA are using telehealth to fight COVID-19 and how you may use the technology in your practice, please contact a member of our Health Care Law team at 941.748.0100 or email Health Care Law attorney Ann Breitinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.