Washington, DC – March 27, 2020 – Today, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation includes key health IT provisions, supported by eHealth Initiative (eHI) and more than two dozen leading health IT and digital health organizations.
The legislation builds off eHI’s advocacy work to broaden Medicare reimbursement of telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration. Provisions in the CARES Act allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive any underlying statutory restriction on Medicare telehealth reimbursement, which would allow additional providers to offer telehealth services. The provision also removes waiver limitations included in the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations – removing a requirement that a provider and patient have an existing relationship to utilize telehealth and allowing reimbursement of audio-only telehealth services and store-and-forward technologies.
“eHI supports the CARES Act and asks the Secretary to act swiftly in updating the Medicare telehealth waiver in order to ensure that technology is fully leveraged to combat COVID-19,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, eHI Chief Executive Officer. “While the legislation is another positive step forward in addressing the crisis, more needs to be done to support providers and patients during this difficult time. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to ensure their voices are heard.”
Find eHI’s summary of health IT-related provisions here.