AMGA Endorses Medicare Telehealth Expansion; New Flexibilities Needed Beyond COVID Emergency
Alexandria, VA – AMGA today recommended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) permanently extend the telehealth flexibilities instituted in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The regulations and payment changes, which have altered how patients access care, are now a part of the care delivery process and reflect a new reality.
“Patients quickly adapted to receiving care in the comfort and safety of their own homes,” said AMGA President and CEO Jerry Penso, M.D., M.B.A. “It would be disruptive and counterproductive to attempt to impose obsolete restrictions on telehealth after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In comments on a CMS interim final rule, AMGA endorsed several changes that CMS made as part of its response to COVID-19. AMGA supported a revision to allow patients to access care via their smartphones. In addition, AMGA endorsed the establishment of separate payments for audio-only telephone evaluation and management (E/M) services. AMGA noted that CMS should further support the audio-only care, which is the only care available for some patients, by allowing these telephone calls to satisfy the face-to-face requirement for collecting diagnosis information for risk adjustment and care coordination purposes.
The letter is available here.
AMGA is a trade association leading the transformation of health care in America. Representing multispecialty medical groups and integrated systems of care, we advocate, educate, innovate, and empower our members to deliver the next level of high performance health. AMGA is the national voice promoting awareness of our members’ recognized excellence in the delivery of coordinated, high-quality, high-value care. More than 175,000 physicians practice in our member organizations, delivering care to one in three Americans.
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