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Careers

COVID-19 Updates

March 31, 2020

Make plans to join AAFP’s Virtual Town Hall Wednesday 4/1 from 8-9pm. 

 AAFP President Dr. Gary LeRoy and AAFP SVP Advocacy Shawn Martin will join me to provide an overview of recently announced CMS accelerated payments, the CARES Act and what you can be doing now to position yourself to receive relief funding, followed by an open Q&A session. 

Remember, Live CME credit is available for participating on Wednesday. 

You can join the Town Hall via the links below:



Medicare Payment for Telephone (only) Visits

Earlier today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a series of changes to Medicare benefit and payment policies.  Included in the announcement was a change in payment policy whereby CMS will begin paying for telephone-only visits conducted by physicians.  

Achieving this change in payment policy has been a priority for the AAFP and we specifically requested this policy change in a letter to CMS.

You can read about the new CMS policies here.

The AAFP will have more information and guidance on this change in payment policy today. This will be important, for example, because CMS is not permitting 99211-215 services via telehealth audio only, they are paying for previously non-billable telephone visit codes 99441-43.

You may want to add your home address to your Medicare Enrollment if you are providing telehealth services from your home.

  1. Can the distant site practitioner furnish Medicare telehealth services from their home? Or do they have to be in a medical facility?

There are no payment restrictions on distant site practitioners furnishing Medicare telehealth services from their home. The practitioner is required to update their Medicare enrollment with the home location. The practitioner can add their home address to their Medicare enrollment file by reaching out to the Medicare Administrative Contractor in their jurisdiction through the provider enrollment hotline. It would be effective immediately so practitioners could continue providing care without a disruption. More details about this enrollment requirement can be found at 42 CFR 424.516. If the physician or non-physician practitioner reassigns their benefits to a clinic/group practice, the clinic/group practice is required to update their Medicare enrollment with the individuals’ home location. The clinic/group practice can add the individual’s home address to their Medicare enrollment file by reaching out to the Medicare Administrative Contractor in their jurisdiction through the provider enrollment hotline.


Mental Health in a public health crisis

Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network Resources

Public health emergencies such as COVID-19 have a significant impact on people with mental illness, their families, and caregivers; the mental health workforce; and the mental health treatment system. They also cause stress and anxiety across the population. Visit the MHTTC website for webinars, products, and resources that can be useful when coping with the effects of widespread public health crises. 


CMS Financial Relief Program for Medicare Providers

March 30, 2020

Accelerated/Advance Payments for Medicare Providers

On March 28 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they would immediately implement a new Accelerate and Advance Medicare Payment policy to assist family physicians and other Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers. Again, family physicians who meet the qualifying criteria are eligible for these accelerated and advanced Medicare payments.  This is the policy that the AAFP asked CMS to implement earlier this week.

Medicare will start accepting and processing the Accelerated/Advance Payment Requests immediately. CMS anticipates that the payments will be issued within seven days of the provider’s request.    Here is information on how to apply – you must go through your regional contractor

FACT SHEET: EXPANSION OF THE ACCELERATED AND ADVANCE PAYMENTS PROGRAM FOR PROVIDERS AND SUPPLIERS DURING COVID-19 EMERGENCY

You can find a copy of the fact sheet here.

You can find a copy of the press release here.



Quality Payment Program and Quality Reporting Program/Value Based Purchasing Program COVID-19 Relief

On March 22, 2020, CMS announced relief for clinicians, providers, hospitals and facilities participating in quality reporting programs in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This memorandum and factsheet supplements and provides additional guidance to health care providers with regard to the announcement. CMS has extended the 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) data submission deadline from March 31 by 30 days to April 30, 2020. This and other efforts are to provide relief to clinicians responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the MIPS automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy will apply to MIPS eligible clinicians who do not submit their MIPS data by the April 30, 2020 deadline.

You can find a copy of the memo here:  Memo

You can find a copy of the fact sheet here:  Fact Sheet



Long-Term Care Nursing Homes Telehealth and Telemedicine Tool Kit

On March 27, CMS issued an electronic toolkit regarding telehealth and telemedicine for Long Term Care Nursing Home Facilities. Under President Trump’s leadership to respond to the need to limit the spread of community COVID-19, CMS has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. This document contains electronic links to reliable sources of information regarding telehealth and telemedicine, including the significant changes made by CMS over the last week in response to the National Health Emergency.  Most of the information is directed towards providers who may want to establish a permanent telemedicine program, but there is information here that will help in the temporary deployment of a telemedicine program as well. There are specific documents identified that will be useful in choosing telemedicine vendors, equipment, and software, initiating a telemedicine program, monitoring patients remotely, and developing documentation tools. There is also information that will be useful for providers who intend to care for patients through electronic virtual services that may be temporarily used during the COVID-19 pandemic.



CARES Act signed 

On Friday March 27 Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act, a $2 trillion relief package that provides much needed economic relief for American families and businesses who are hurting through no fault of their own. This legislation will provide assistance to America’s heroic healthcare workers who are on the frontlines of this outbreak, including $100 billion which will go to healthcare providers, including hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, $27 billion which will go to bolstering life-saving capabilities, including developing vaccines and the development, purchase, and distribution of critical supplies and $45 billion which will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund, more than doubling the amount available to support the President’s Emergency and Disaster Declarations to empower State, local, and tribal leaders to effectively respond.

More information will be coming from AAFP. Of interest, Sec. 3704 – Enhancing Medicare telehealth services for Federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics during emergency period. Also adds FQHCs and RHCs as “distant site” providers for purposes of the COVID-19 telehealth waiver, allowing them to bill for telehealth services under the waiver.

March 27, 2020

The MDPH Immunization Division’s Vaccine Management Unit remains fully operational. All state-supplied vaccine orders continue to be processed and there should be no anticipated delays in vaccine shipments.
 
·     If your site is closing for an extended period of time or you have a change to your shipment hours, contact the Vaccine Management Unit immediately at 617-983-6828.
·     For Vaccine Storage and Handling issues, upload temperature logs directly into the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS). Do not fax urgent temperature logs to the Vaccine Management Unit.
·     When contacting the Vaccine Management Unit, make sure to leave a voice message with your name, direct contact number, and PIN. 

An important note from the CDC:

Maintaining Childhood Immunizations During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly and continues to affect communities across the United States differently. Some of the strategies used to slow the spread of disease in communities include postponing or cancelling non-urgent elective procedures and using telemedicine instead of face-to-face encounters for routine medical visits.
 
Ensuring the delivery of newborn and well-child care, including childhood immunization, requires different strategies. Healthcare providers in communities affected by COVID-19 are using strategies to separate well visits from sick visits.
Examples include:

·     Scheduling well visits in the morning and sick visits in the afternoon
·     Separating patients spatially, such as by placing patients with sick visits in different areas of the clinic or another location from patients with well visits. 
·     Collaborating with providers in the community to identify separate locations for holding well visits for children. 

Because of personal, practice, or community circumstances related to COVID-19, some providers may not be able to provide well child visits, including provision of immunizations, for all patients in their practice. If a practice can provide only limited well child visits, healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize newborn care and vaccination of infants and young children (through 24 months of age) when possible. CDC is monitoring the situation and will continue to provide guidance.

For more information and updates, visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/index.html

Updates from CMS re: Enrollment Relief, Open Payments, Beneficiary Notices:

2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

CMS released Frequently Asked Questions on Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief related to COVID-19 including the toll-free hotlines available to Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). CMS has established toll-free hotlines at each MAC to allow physicians and non-physician practitioners to initiate temporary Medicare billing privileges. These hotlines provide expedited enrollment and answer questions related to COVID-19 enrollment requirements. FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Enforcing Open Payments Deadlines

CMS released an updated comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Open Payments program. Tuesday, March 31, 2020 is the Open Payments Program Year 2019 data submission deadline for applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to submit and attest to data for the June 2020 publication of Program Year 2019 data. The deadline cannot be extended past March 31, 2020, therefore, CMS will exercise enforcement discretion for submissions completed after the statutory deadline due to circumstances beyond the reporting entity’s control related to the pandemic. FAQ

Beneficiary Notice Delivery Guidance in light of COVID-19

If you are treating a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, CMS encourages the provider community to be diligent and safe while issuing the following beneficiary notices to beneficiaries receiving institutional care:

  • Important Message from Medicare   (IM)_CMS-10065
  • Detailed Notices of Discharge   (DND)_CMS-10066
  • Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage   (NOMNC)_CMS-10123
  • Detailed Explanation of Non-Coverage   (DENC)_CMS-10124
  • Medicare Outpatient Observation Notice   (MOON)_CMS-10611
  • Advance Beneficiary Notice of Non-Coverage   (ABN)_CMS-R-131
  • Skilled Nursing Advance Beneficiary Notice of Non-Coverage   (SNFABN)_CMS-10055
  • Hospital Issued Notices of Non-Coverage   (HINN)

In light of concerns related to COVID-19, current notice delivery instructions provide flexibilities for delivering notices to beneficiaries in isolation. These procedures include: 

  • Hard copies of notices may be dropped off with a beneficiary by any hospital worker able to enter a room safely. A contact phone number should be provided for a beneficiary to ask questions about the notice, if the individual delivering the notice is unable to do so. If a hard copy of the notice cannot be dropped off, notices to beneficiaries may also delivered via email, if a beneficiary has access in the isolation room. The notices should be annotated with the circumstances of the delivery, including the person delivering the notice, and when and to where the email was sent.
  • Notice delivery may be made via telephone or secure email to beneficiary representatives who are offsite. The notices should be annotated with the circumstances of the delivery, including the person delivering the notice via telephone, and the time of the call, or when and to where the email was sent.

We encourage the provider community to review all of the specifics of notice delivery, as set forth in Chapter 30 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual. https://www.cms.gov/media/137111

CMS has taken several recent actions in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), as part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts.  A summary of recent CMS activities can be found here: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-news-alert-march-26-2020

To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.gov. For information specific to CMS, please visit the CMS News Room and Current Emergencies Website.

March 26, 2020

AAFP is working to build out resources to help you to address the stress (for our family physicians, their practice teams, and their families). There are just a few resources here at the moment, but we will be adding more. 

You can find those here: https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/emergency/2019-coronavirus/Covid-19-practice-management.html#well-being

ACOG have shared the following FAQ's with the latest guidance on COVID-19 care for maternity care.

You can find that here: https://www.acog.org/clinical-information/physician-faqs/covid-19-faqs-for-ob-gyns-obstetrics

March 25, 2020

Materials for Homemade Surgical Masks

People who want to sew masks buy surgical drape from veterinary supply stores and use the patterns from several hospitals.  

Alternatively, vacuum bags have a similar filtration for droplets as surgical masks and could be sown as disposable masks.  Not n95 quality but it might be helpful for office or for family members caring for sick persons in the home. 

Thirdly, a cloth mask that can be washed and dried with a place for a disposable vacuum bag or coffee filter insert might be a reasonable option. See links on patterns below: 

Cambridge

ResearchGate

Providence Hospital Pattern

Valley View Hospital Pattern

Deaconess

Stanford Medicine

Smartairfilters.com


CDC Interim US Guidance on Risk and Exposures

Interim US Guidelines on Risk and Exposures

COCA Call about Underlying Medical Conditions and People at Higher Risk for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is postponed to March 27, 2020, still Noon-1:00pm.

The archived version will be available later here.

If you use Facebook, please watch the webinar live or archived on Facebook Live.

To call in by phone use one of the following numbers plus the webinar ID.

Telephone: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782

Webinar ID: 963 649 423


Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19


On March 22, CMS announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. The action comes as part of the Trump Administration’s response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

CMS is implementing additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several CMS programs. For those programs with data submission deadlines in April and May 2020, submission of those data will be optional, based on the facility’s choice to report.

CMS recognizes that quality measure data collection and reporting for services furnished during this time period may not be reflective of their true level of performance on measures such as cost, readmissions, and patient experience during this time of emergency and seeks to hold organizations harmless for not submitting data during this period.

You can find a copy of the press release here.

CMS will continue monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation and assess options to provide additional relief to clinicians, facilities, and their staff so they can focus on caring for patients.

This action, and earlier CMS actions in response to COVID-19, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19, please visit the coronavirus.gov webpage. For a complete and updated list of CMS actions, and other information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Webpage on CMS.Gov.


COVID-19 Provider Enrollment Relief FAQs


On March 22, CMS released Frequently Asked Questions on Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief related to COVID-19, including the toll-free hotlines available to provide expedited enrollment and answer questions related to COVID-19 enrollment requirements.

A copy of the FAQs can be found here.

March 24, 2020

Surgical Innovation Fellowship - COVID-19: Our response to the N95 shortage



CMS Relaxes Quality Payment Program (QPP) (MIPS)

                The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended(www.cms.gov) the deadline to report data for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) 2019 performance year, as requested in a recent letter from the American Academy of Family Physicians. Practices now have until April 30, 2020, to submit data. The original deadline was March 31. This new deadline, part of the agency's response to COVID-19, also applies to participants in the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP)


Administration for Community Living (a division of HHS): older adult related COVID-19 resources https://acl.gov/COVID-19



The SAMHSA-funded Technology Transfer Centers (TTC) link:

        https://www.samhsa.gov/technology-transfer-centers-ttc

        Region 3 TTCs: https://attcnetwork.org/centers/central-east-attc/home


Each region has a SAMHSA-funded TTC center for Addiction, Mental Health, and Prevention with a listserv, newsletter, archived and upcoming webinars and other free resources.



Today, Compassion Fatigue and the Behavioral Health Workforce, was posted:

http://uclaisap.org/html2/compassion-fatigue-behavioral-workforce-cip.html

This 5-part Curriculum Infusion Package (CIP) on Compassion Fatigue and the Behavioral Health Workforce was developed in 2020 by the Pacific Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (PSATTC). The main developers included Nancy Roget, MS, Joyce Hartje, PhD, and Terra Hamblin, MA, with additional guidance and editing support provided by Beth Rutkowski, MPH, Thomas E. Freese, PhD, and Michael Shafer, PhD.


Compassion Fatigue Curriculum Infusion Package Slides

Part 1: The Behavioral Health Workforce

Part 2: Defining Compassion Fatigue and Related Conditions

Part 3: Burnout and Organizational Response

Part 4: Compassion Satisfaction and Self-Care

Part 5: Self-Care and Ethical Issues

The Compassion Fatigue CIP was created to help college and university faculty infuse brief, science-based content into existing substance use disorder-related course syllabi (e.g., foundation of addiction courses, ethics, counseling courses, etc.). Instructors can select the specific content to infuse throughout the duration of the course depending on specific needs of the learners. Each slide contains notes for the instructor to provide guidance as necessary. References are included for each slide and handouts when possible.

Part 1 provides a brief overview of the behavioral health workforce and associated shortages, and introduces the demands on the workforce. Part 2 focuses on compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress. Part 3 provides a brief overview of how organizations can help individuals avoid experiencing burnout. Part 4 focuses on actions that behavioral health professionals can take to prevent compassion fatigue. And Part 5 focuses on self-care as an ethical duty in order to manage compassion fatigue. 

The slide decks are designed to be used by academic faculty in behavioral health programs, trainers, behavioral health providers, and state/county agency staff members for a variety of audiences. If you require further information on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact the Pacific Southwest ATTC (http://www.psattc.org). You are free to use these slides and the pictures, but please give credit to the Pacific Southwest ATTC when using them by keeping the logo on each slide and referencing the Pacific Southwest ATTC at the beginning of your presentation. 

March 23, 2020

Relief for Clinicians, Providers, Hospitals and Facilities Participating in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19

CMS announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. The action comes as part of the Trump Administration’s response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

CMS is implementing additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several CMS programs.  For those programs with data submission deadlines in April and May 2020, submission of those data will be optional, based on the facility’s choice to report. 

CMS recognizes that quality measure data collection and reporting for services furnished during this time period may not be reflective of their true level of performance on measures such as cost, readmissions and patient experience during this time of emergency and seeks to hold organizations harmless for not submitting data during this period. 

You can find a copy of the press release here.

CMS will continue monitoring the developing COVID-19 situation and assess options to additional relief to clinicians, facilities, and their staff so they can focus on caring for pat

This action, and earlier CMS actions in response to COVID-19, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing i response to COVID-19, please visit www.coronavirus.gov. For a complete and updated l CMS actions, and other information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Webpage on CMS.Gov


New Tools To Help Speed States' Access to Emergency Flexibilities and Resources

The Trump Administration released new tools to strip away regulatory red tape and unleash new resources to support state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Because of the President’s bold action in declaring COVID-19 a national emergency, CMS now has a full suite of tools available to maximize responsiveness to state needs. The agency has created four checklists that together will make up a comprehensive Medicaid COVID-19 federal authority checklist to make it easier for states to receive federal waivers and implement flexibilities in their program. 

The tools include:

1115 Waiver Opportunity and Application Checklist
1135 Waiver Opportunity and Application Checklist
1915(c) Appendix K Template
Medicaid Disaster State Plan Amendment Template


Medicare Virtual Check-ins:   

Virtual Check-ins (G2012) enable a quick visit with a patient to determine if an in-person appointment should be scheduled. This Medicare service is never restricted by geographic location/originating site or other Medicare telehealth restrictions. Virtual Check-In's are a brief (5-10 minutes of medical decision-making) technology-based communication (via phone or other digital device) for an established patient, not originating from a related E/M within prior 7 days and not leading to an E/M service within next 24 hours or soonest available appointment. 

Medicare E-Visits:

E-Visits (99421-99423 for physicians or G2061-G2063 for non-physician qualified professionals) are a non face-to-face (virtual) asynchronous encounter, initiated by an established patient, utilizing digital means to achieve the visit. It can include lab orders, prescriptions, diagnosis and treatment plan with cumulative time reported once in a 7-day period. This Medicare service is never restricted by geographic location/originating site or other Medicare telehealth restrictions. Communication exchanged must be permanently stored.


CMS Releases Telehealth Toolkits for General Practitioners and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two comprehensive toolkits on telehealth that are specific to general practitioners as well as providers treating patients with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Under President Trump’s leadership to respond to the need to limit the spread of COVID-19, CMS has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. Under this new waiver, Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country and including in patient’s places of residence starting March 6, 2020. A range of providers, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, will be able to offer telehealth to their patients. These benefits are part of the broader effort by CMS and the White House Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 are aware of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the community spread of this virus.

Each toolkit contains electronic links to reliable sources of information on telehealth and telemedicine, which will reduce the amount of time providers spend searching for answers and increase their time with patients. Many of these links will help providers learn about the general concept of telehealth, choose telemedicine vendors, initiate a telemedicine program, monitor patients remotely, and develop documentation tools. Additionally, the information contained within each toolkit will also outline temporary virtual services that could be used to treat patients during this specific period of time.

You can find the Telehealth Toolkit for General Practitioners here.

You can find the End-Stage Renal Disease Providers Toolkit here.

CMS continues to monitor the developing COVID-19 situation and assess options to bring relief to clinicians. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 visit the coronavirus.gov webpage. For complete and updated information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.


COVID-19 Elective Surgeries and Non-Essential Procedures Recommendations


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

You can find a copy of the press release here.

You can find a copy of the guidance here.



 ADDITIONAL RESOURCE LINKS

March 20, 2020

The Physicians Foundation Announces The Telehealth Initiative to Improve Access to Quality Health Care

The current COVID-19 crisis reinforces the need for physician access to practical resources that will enable them to operate telehealth services efficiently while facilitating positive care team and patient experiences. Through The Telehealth Initiative, physicians are able to participate in immersive evidence-based coaching that will help improve patient access, experience and outcomes while maintaining continuity of care when fully implemented. 

The program helps participating physicians redesign their practices to successfully provide telehealth services to their patients. Additionally, the Initiative is providing free, online access to resources to encourage all physicians to consider telehealth services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth will help physicians respond to surges in sick patients needing care and protect non-infected patients with other acute or chronic conditions from potential exposure to the virus. Resources available include:

·     Considering Telemedicine in the Wake of COVID-19? (TMA) 

·     Telemedicine: The Changing Shape of Care Webinar (TMA) 

·     Telemedicine Vendor Options (TMA) 

·     Telemedicine Vendor Evaluation Tool (TMA) 

·     Policies, Procedures and Forms for Telemedicine Services (TMA) 

·     Making Telemedicine Work: Learn How Physicians are Using Telemedicine (TMA) 

·     Telemedicine Payments Promised, Regulations Eased (TMA) 

·     Massachusetts FAQS: Prescribing During Remote Telemedicine Practice (MMS)

·     Telemedicine Quick Guide (AMA) 

·     Digital Health Implementation Playbook for Remote Patient Monitoring (AMA) 

·    Physician Innovation Network Telemedicine Discussion (AMA)

·     STEPS Forward™ Module on Telemedicine (AMA) 

March 19, 2020

March 18, 2020

DPH issued a guidance letter for testing of persons with suspect COVID-19 through the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory: COVID-19 PUI Criteria PDF | Doc


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to all Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Organizations (POs) to protect the health and safety of Americans in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their healthcare needs in the community instead of going to a nursing home or other care facility. CMS is putting out COVID-19 guidance to all types of healthcare providers and facilities. PACE is the latest area of focus because these organizations serve older adults who often have serious chronic medical conditions and therefore are at higher risk of serious illness from the virus.

You can find a copy of the press release here.

For a complete and updated list of CMS actions, and other information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.


Coverage and Reimbursement

CMS Fact Sheet on Medicare telehealth

CMS FAQs on Medicare telehealth

CMS chart on Medicare telehealth

CMS guidance on Medicaid telehealth

CMS state guidance on Medicaid telehealth

 

Practice Guidelines

AMA Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice

AMA Guidance for Ethical Practice in Telemedicine

American Telemedicine Association Practice Guidelines

American Health Information Management Association Telemedicine Toolkit

 

Technical Support/Misc.

Telemedicine Quick Set-up Guide in Response to COVID-19 National Emergency developed by Drs. Sylvia Romm, Adam Maghrabi, Tisha Rowe, Aditi Joshi

Criteria for Return to Work for Healthcare Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 (Interim Guidance)

CMS update on Telehealth Payment


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to protect the health and safety of our nation’s patients and providers in the wake of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. CMS has released a Virtual Toolkit to help you stay up-to-date on CMS materials available on COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 visit:

This guidance, and earlier CMS actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. To keep up with the important work the Task Force is doing in response to COVID-19 click here Coronavirus.gov.  For information specific to CMS, please visit the Current Emergencies Website.

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