Coronavirus Funding Bill Includes Telehealth Provisions

March 6, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | COVID-19 | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth

The “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020,” signed into law by the President on March 6, includes provisions waiving Medicare’s geographic restrictions on telehealth during a public health emergency. This will enable healthcare providers to provide care via telehealth in urban and rural areas as well as in patients’ homes within the “emergency area.” The new law also relaxes restrictions on the delivery of care by video conference.

The main purpose of the law was to provide $8.3 billion in funding to federal, state and local agencies to battle the coronavirus outbreak. The portion that pertains to telehealth is entitled the “Telehealth Services During Certain Emergency Periods Act of 2020.”

Separately, on March 5, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a fact sheet entitled “Coverage and Payment Related to COVID-19.” The fact sheet discusses the types of Medicare reimbursement available and new billing codes that have been created for coronavirus testing and treatment.

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