ATA weighs in on proposed CMS Physician Fee Schedule rule

The American Telemedicine Association was among several groups this week that submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule.

The comments focused on three areas: expanding access to more telehealth services and providers, changes to remote patient monitoring services, and telehealth in federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics.

“The ATA strongly supports increased access to telehealth services in the Medicare program to increase access to clinically and cost-effective care, particularly for our most vulnerable populations,” said ATA CEO Ann Mond Johnson in a statement.   

WHY IT MATTERS  

Expanding telehealth services and providers has been generally supported across the political spectrum, and the ATA’s comments are no exception.   

The proposed CMS rules would make permanent additions to the telehealth services list nine codes that were temporarily covered during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Among other changes, the ATA supports adding these codes for group psychotherapy, neurobehavioral status exam, and evaluation and management.

The ATA also supports reimbursement of audio-only services when clinically appropriate – which advocates have noted is vital for those who may not have access to broadband or technology.  

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage CMS to