Monthly Archives: November 2017

Telehealth Report Offers Glimpse Into Variety and Complexity of State Telehealth Laws and Policies

Posted by Rene Quashie on November 13, 2017
Regulations, Telehealth, Telemedicine / No Comments

In the recently published fall update of the fifth annual edition of its telehealth report, the Center for Connected Health Policy, the federally designated National Telehealth Policy Resource Center, provides a current summary guide to telehealth-related laws, regulations, and policies for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and tracks a number of telehealth trends. The report offers a revealing glimpse into the scope and complexity of state laws and policies governing telehealth. The authors conclude, however, that despite the fact that state laws and Medicaid policies “differ significantly” certain trends are coming into relief. Here are some highlights of the report:

  • 48 states and the District of Columbia provide reimbursement for live video consults in their Medicaid fee-for service programs.
  • States alternate between the terms “telemedicine” and “telehealth,” and in some states, both terms are explicitly defined in statute or regulation.
  • 15 state Medicaid programs reimburse for store-and-forward services.
  • 21 Medicaid programs reimburse for remote patient monitoring.
  • 36 states and the District of Columbia have laws governing coverage by private payers of telehealth services.
  • In the 2017 legislative session, 44 states introduced over 200 telehealth-related pieces of legislation addressing issues such as reimbursement and the standard of care.
  • 30 jurisdictions have telehealth informed consent requirements (depending on the state, may apply to Medicaid only, certain specialties, or to all telehealth transactions in the state).
  • 22 states are now part of the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Interstate Medical Licensure Compact facilitating multi-state licensure for physicians in those states.
  • 32 states reimburse a transmission fee, facility fee, or both.
  • 9 state medical/osteopathic medical boards issue special licenses/certificates related to telehealth.

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Hospitals Will Need Psychiatrists and Mental Health Professionals to Satisfy EMTALA

Posted by Gregory M. Fliszar on November 07, 2017
Hospital, Mental Health, Uncategorized / No Comments

Hospitals that have emergency departments should call upon their “available resources” to screen and stabilize patients with mental health emergencies as required by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (“EMTALA”) according to recent statements by an analyst for CMS and an attorney with the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) for the Department of Health and Human Services.

While speaking at the American College of Emergency Physicians annual meeting in Chicago, the CMS representative noted that EMTALA requires hospitals with emergency departments to provide a medical screening within the capabilities of the hospital by a person who is qualified to do the examination, which, if the hospital offers psychiatric services, would include a psychiatrist.  While the initial screening must be done with medical personnel such as a psychiatrist, the CMS official stated that other mental health professionals may be qualified to assist in those examinations.

Gregory M. Fliszar

Gregory M. Fliszar

Greg Fliszar is member in the firm’s Health Law Group. Greg’s practice focuses on health law litigation and regulatory and compliance matters, as well as compliance with the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and HIPAA. Greg is also a licensed doctoral level clinical psychologist and was a clinical instructor of psychiatry at the MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine.

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