Bloomberg BNA's Health IT Law & Industry Report brings you concise, comprehensive, and timely news and analysis of the regulatory, legal, and compliance issues surrounding our nation’s...
In a comment letter on a proposed rule, the American Telemedicine Association asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to revise hospital conditions of participation to better accommodate the uses of telemedicine services.
In the Dec. 22 letter addressed to acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the group recommended that telemedicine services be covered in four main types of care: emergency care, stroke care, critical and intensive care, and hospital readmission.
Specifically, Medicare participation conditions should be amended to include videoconferencing to provide around-the-clock care while also reducing costs to hospitals, ATA said.
“With over twenty years of experience using telemedicine to access remote medical expertise in thousands of health facilities throughout the country, the time is right (if not overdue) to update the [Medicare] conditions of participation accordingly,” Jonathan D. Linkous, chief executive officer of the ATA, said in the letter.
These inclusions would produce benefits for providers, patients, and hospitals, including:
• 24-hour access to emergency and specialist care for patients;
• the ability for providers to treat patients without having to travel to facilities at odd hours or travel long distances to patients; and
• the ability for hospitals to provide specialty and emergency services in off hours by sharing arrangements with other facilities, reducing the burden of duplicative and costly staffing.
For hospital readmissions, ATA urged CMS to require staff to assess the likelihood of patients being readmitted to hospitals.
“Such a change would augment the priority of CMS to reduce unnecessary readmissions across the country,” ATA wrote.
The comment letter was submitted to CMS on a proposed rule (CMS-3244-P) to revise the requirements that hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The proposal was published in the Federal Register Oct. 24 (76 Fed. Reg. 65891).
ATA also recently proposed legislation to expand Medicaid coverage to telemedicine services for high risk maternal health and neonatal care (see previous article).
The ATA letter is available at http://www.americantelemed.org/files/public/policy/ATA%20on%20CMS%203244P.pdf . The proposed CMS rule on conditions of participation is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-10-24/html/2011-27175.htm .
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)