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On April 18, 2019, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a new law expanding insurance coverage for telehealth services, including asynchronous telemedicine and remote patient monitoring.  The Arizona Legislature passed, nearly unanimously (79-1), SB 1089, ensuring that commercial health plans will cover medical services delivered in-person or via telemedicine. The law becomes effective January 1, 2021 and will benefit patients by increasing access and availability to healthcare services, and catalyze the growth of telehealth technologies…
Two Maryland licensing boards – the Board of Examiners of Psychologist and the Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists – issued a pair of proposed rules setting forth practice standards for mental health services delivered via telehealth technologies. The Boards previously did not have specific practice standards or rules unique to telehealth. Once finalized, psychologists, counselors, and therapists using telehealth in their services should read and apply these new requirements to their operations and service…
New Mexico lawmakers passed new legislation designed to close gaps in the state’s current telehealth insurance coverage law, provide coverage clarity to patients, and ensure payment parity to in-network health care providers. The Legislature passed, nearly unanimously (98-1), legislation ensuring that commercial health plans will cover medical services delivered in-person or via telemedicine. The bill now heads to the office of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for signature.  If signed into law, the bill should bring…
In February, the Department of Justice (DOJ) successfully leveraged a new weapon to target pharmacies as it battles the nation’s opioid crisis. The new approach utilizes court-ordered temporary restraining orders (TROs) that result in an immediate suspension of a pharmacy’s ability to dispense controlled substances at the outset of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration revocation process. A TRO prevents the suspect pharmacies from dispensing any medications until the DEA and the DOJ proceed through…
Ambulatory surgery center (ASC) development and ownership has made a comeback after a number of years of stagnation due to an oversupply of centers and poor income growth. However, with significant changes in payment methodology, whether under Medicare or commercial third party insurance, the industry has seen a shift in surgical procedures toward less expensive and more efficient settings, most especially ASCs. Moreover, hospitals and health systems have been receptive to partnerships with physician owners…
Momentum and support continues to build for telehealth commercial coverage laws across the United States, designed to ensure that covered members of health insurance plans can enjoy the full scope of their medical benefits – whether in-person or virtually.  Last summer, the Massachusetts Legislature considered a sweeping telehealth bill that would have instituted certain requirements for insurance coverage.  (Read our critique of that bill here.)  Although the 2018 legislative session ended before the…
We have posted previously in Healthcare Law Today related to physician private equity transactions, commonly called “recapitalizations.” Most of the discussions have been about the “who,” the “why” and the “how” of these transactions.  What we haven’t yet discussed are the issues that may arise following the closing of one of these transactions.  While the impact of the issues generally emerge post-closing, many can be addressed, or at least recognized, at the time the…
CMS just announced a clarification that remote patient monitoring under CPT code 99457 may be furnished by auxiliary personnel, “incident to” the billing practitioner’s professional services.  An “incident to” service is one that is performed under the supervision of a physician (broadly defined), and billed to Medicare in the name of the physician, subject to certain requirements, one of which is discussed below.  The announcement came in a technical correction issued March 14, 2019 and…
Website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act) is an issue of which health care providers and other health care companies should be aware. There have been lawsuits filed that include claims for website accessibility under these Acts. A number of entities, including health care providers, have received complaints on behalf of visually impaired individuals claiming that the entity’s web presence is not equally accessible…