BACKGROUND:
On March 4th, Congress passed H.R.6074 – Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental
Appropriations Act, 2020 https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6074/text. The bill
includes, among other things, provisions that waive certain telehealth requirements during the COVID-
19 public health emergency to ensure Medicare beneficiaries can receive telehealth services at home to
avoid placing themselves at greater risk of the virus. The legislation will allow physicians and other health
care professionals to bill Medicare fee-for-service for patient care delivered by telehealth during the
current coronavirus public health emergency. In particular, the legislation gives the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary the authority to waive or modify certain telehealth Medicare
requirements when the U.S. President has declared a National Emergency, or the HHS Secretary has
declared a Public Health Emergency as was instituted this past Friday, March 13, 2020.

The legislation allows for changes in the originating site requirements and for telehealth services to be
provided by phone if the phone allows for audio-video interaction between the provider and the
beneficiary. This expansion is limited to qualified providers who have furnished Medicare services to the
individual in the three years prior to the telehealth service (or another qualified provider under the same
tax identification number that has provided services within three years). The patient must initiate the
service and give consent to be treated virtually, and the consent must be documented in the medical
record before initiation of the service.

One of the most helpful summaries of the new flexibility to provide telehealth services to Medicare
beneficiaries is set forth in a Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet, published March
17, 2020 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). See also the related Medicare
Telehealth Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) issued the same day.

Providers should remember that the CMS guidance announced on March 17, 2020 applies only with
respect to services payable by Medicare. The federal government has also encouraged states to expand
the use of telehealth in their Medicaid programs for low-income individuals. It is hoped that commercial
third-party payers will follow suit. Because the new CMS guidance only applies with respect to Medicare,
providers must review the requirements of their state Medicaid programs and commercial third-party
payers when applicable. Providers who have opted-out of Medicare and operate on a cash basis have
the greatest flexibly with respect to telemedicine.

For additional information regarding telemedicine or other health care matters, please feel free to contact
the following individuals:
Ronnen Isakov, Managing Director Advisory Services at risakov@medicmgmt.com or 234-466-1071
Laura Summy, Coding Manager at lsummy@medicmgmt.com or 234-466-1150
Jan Lasker, Senior Manager at jlasker@medicmgmt.com or 234-466-1084
Tobi Klein, Senior Consultant at tklein@medicmgmt.com or 234-466-1045