With this guidance, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and DOJ’s Civil Rights Division (CRT) explain how various federal laws require making telehealth accessible to people with disabilities and limited English proficient persons. These laws include Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504),1 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),2 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI),3 and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), 4 (collectively, “federal civil rights laws”). Section 1557 regulations specifically provide that covered health programs or activities provided by covered entities through electronic or information technology.
By a near unanimous vote, the US House of Representatives has passed a bill expanding telehealth access and coverage for Medicare services until the end of 2024, while making those flexibilities permanent for FQHCs and RHCs. The bill now goes to the Senate.
On July 7, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that announces and solicits public comments on proposed policy changes for Medicare payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), and other Medicare Part B issues, effective on or after January 1, 2023.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released guidance on the use of remote communication technologies for audio-only telehealth to assist health care providers and health plans, or covered entities, bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules (HIPAA Rules). The goal of the guidance as stated by OCR is to support continued access to audio-only telehealth post-public health emergency (PHE) and make clear that audio-only telehealth is permissible under HIPAA Rules.
The governing board of the Utah Education and Telehealth Network appointed Spencer Jenkins as the new UETN CEO and Executive Director.
A Toolkit for a Pro-Patient and Provider Landscape. A new report from Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute rates every state’s telehealth policy for patient access and ease of providing virtual care.