There have been changes to teletherapy regulations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Stay up to date with the links below. Please check your state and local regulations and verify any information before moving forward with any tele-health platform. If you would like to share information with us to post, please email Ann Lundberg, NCB Logistics and Communications Coordinator, at email@example.com.
COVID 19 changes to telemedicine (Posted 3/26/2020)
Changes to telemedicine regulations are summed up in this Medscape article shared with us by Eugene Augusterfer of HPRT. (Free registration is required to view the article.)
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Changes to Regulations due to COVID-19:
HHS has launched a new website on telehealth (Posted 6/25/2020)
Notification of Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency from the HHS Office for Civil Rights in Action https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html.
Here is the latest on the relaxation of regulations related to telehealth. As you will see, the most relevant part reads: "A covered health care provider that wants to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with patients". Lawyers with the American Telemedicine Association read this as phone communications are permitted and also fully billable, if appropriate. - From Eugene F. Augusterfer, Deputy Director and Director of Telemedicine, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma
Some of the links mentioned on the website include:
- The Office of Civil Rights has published a bulletin advising covered entities of further flexibilities available to them as well as obligations that remain in effect under HIPAA as they respond to crises or emergencies at https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/february-2020-hipaa-and-novel-coronavirus.pdf - PDF.
- Guidance on BAAs, including sample BAA provisions, is available at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/covered-entities/sample-business-associate-agreement-provisions/index.html.
- Additional information about HIPAA Security Rule safeguards is available at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/security/guidance/index.html.
- HealthIT.gov has technical assistance on telehealth at https://www.healthit.gov/telehealth.
- Telehealth policy changes during the Covid-19 emergency from HHS (Posted 6/25/2020)
The FCC is offering grants for telehealth to help health care providers provide connect care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations in response to the novel Coronavirus. - Shared with us by Eugene Augusterfer
The American Psychological Association (APA) has called on states to lift interstate laws for telemental health during COVID
This post has been shared with us by Cynthia Grguric at International Psychology and Healing.
It appears that the government waiver for Covid-19 care covers Medicare, which is a national program so all states are covered in the waiver. The second paper is on guidance for states, which administer Medicaid for individual states. Thus, each state has the right to set their own rules regarding telehealth, to include during this crisis. Each program needs to contact their individual state and check their states ruling on this issue. - From Eugene F. Augusterfer, Deputy Director and Director of Telemedicine, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma
- Medicare: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet
- Medicaid: https://protect2.fireeye.com/url?k=777d6919-2b2860c9-777d5826-0cc47a6a52de-620bb70ae196e907&u=https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/downloads/medicaid-telehealth-services.pdf
Links to FAQ and a paper from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT):
- Regulatory and Legal Considerations for Telehealth
- Telehealth FAQs for Therapists during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)
The Federation of State Medical Boards has created a list of states that have modified in-state licensure requirements. (Posted 6/25/2020)
If you have any regulations you think would be helpful to add please use the comment section below or contact Ann Lundberg at at firstname.lastname@example.org.