CMS Issues More Guidance for Telehealth and ASCs

April 7, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a video that answers frequently asked questions about expanded Medicare telehealth coverage under 1135 waiver authority and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. Specifically, Medicare will pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the entire country, whether urban or rural, and in all settings, including in patients' homes. For more information on expanded services, see IHA's summary here.

Additionally, CMS released guidance for processing attestations from ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) that temporarily enroll as hospitals during the COVID-19 public health emergency. CMS recognizes that ASCs have existing infrastructure to provide inpatient and outpatient hospital services for patients requiring a higher level of care. ASCs are expected to coordinate with their local healthcare systems and/or their state and local health departments operating under applicable emergency preparedness or pandemic plans to help meet the surge needs of their communities. This guidance outlines the necessary steps for processing attestations and certification kits for existing Medicare certified ASCs.