CMS ACO Telehealth
12/1 CMS Answers Call for Telehealth by ACOs
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may soon allow Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to use telehealth in patient care. On Monday, in a 429-page proposed rulemaking, CMS indicated an openness to cover telehealth services under the payment innovation of Medicare’s ACOs. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has been petitioning the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive certain restrictions on ACOs' use of telemedicine, thereby expanding telehealth coverage to the 80 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who reside in metropolitan areas, and also to all beneficiaries who receive treatment in their homes (or in locations other than one of the previously designated types of health facilities).
Many members of Congress have supported such action with three pending bipartisan legislative plans:
- Standard Growth Rate Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act (S. 2000 and H.R. 4015)
- Telehealth Enhancement Act (S. 2662 and H.R. 3306)
- Accountable Care Organization Improvement Act (H.R. 5558)
The full release (with links to the full proposal): http://www.americantelemed.org/news-landing/2014/12/02/cms-answers-american-telemedicine-association-s-call-for-telehealth-by-acos