Recent Blog Posts
- Trump Administration Takes on VA Telehealth Opportunities Throughout the campaign season and the first months of Donald Trump’s presidency, the current Administration has voiced a commitment to furthering telehealth advancement. For example, during the campaign, then-candidate Trump emphasized the importance of telehealth tools in reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”). More recently, both U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma stated in their confirmation hearings that they were interested in promoting the... More
- OIG Updates FY 2017 Work Plan to Include Review of Medicare Claims for Telehealth Services Provided to Rural Beneficiaries: Will Substantive Change to Medicare Reimbursement for Telehealth Follow? Updates to OIG FY 2017 Work Plan
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently updated its FY 2017 Work Plan. Traditionally, OIG’s annual Work Plan has given health care providers a preview of OIG’s enforcement priorities. With the OIG now making updates to its Work Plan on a monthly basis, providers stand to gain even more insight into how the focus of OIG is constantly shifting in order to assist in... More
- Implementation of Private Payer Parity Laws for Telehealth Services Private payer parity laws generally require private insurers and health maintenance organizations to cover, and in some cases also reimburse, for the provision of telehealth services in the same manner and at the same level as comparable in-person services. These laws are enacted at the state level, creating a complicated framework within which insurers must operate. At this point, most states have implemented some form of private payer parity law, although the specifics of each state’s laws vary. One of... More
- Momentum Continues in Telehealth Legislative Activity with Passage of Texas Law Telehealth continues to be a hot topic of state and federal legislatures. Texas, for example, recently joined the rest of the states in no longer requiring initial in-person visits before being able to provide telehealth services.
The Texas legislature enacted the major telehealth bill SB 1107 on May 19, 2017, and the governor signed the bill into law shortly thereafter on May 27, 2017. As reported in our prior post, Texas had considered that, if passed, this telehealth bill would allow... More
- An Investor’s Insight into Telehealth At the American Telemedicine Association’s (“ATA”) recent conference in Orlando, a panel of strategic investors discussed the growth of the telehealth industry. The panel delved into topics such as the driving forces for telehealth and which telehealth programs they believe have the ability to gain traction across a broad universe of stakeholders. Based on firsthand experience with deals that have worked, and those that have not, the panel shared their insights and discussed lessons learned, which in turn provided listeners... More
- Sharing Cyber Threat Information The Information Sharing and Analysis Organization-Standards Organization (ISAO-SO) was set up under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security pursuant to a Presidential Executive Order intended to foster threat vector sharing among private entities and with the government. ISAOs are proliferating in many critical infrastructure fields, including health care, where cybersecurity and data privacy are particularly sensitive issues given HIPAA requirements and disproportionate industry human and systems vulnerabilities. Therefore, in advising their companies’ management, general counsel and others might... More
- Telehealth Outlook Under the Trump Administration What will the telehealth landscape look like under the Donald J. Trump Administration?
The Trump Administration is likely to drive telehealth advancement in a positive direction. For example, President Trump’s plan to reform the Veteran’s Affairs Department includes improved patient care through the use of telehealth technology. There are also some indications that the newly confirmed Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Tom Price, is “telehealth friendly.” Recently, during the congressional confirmation hearings, Price mentioned a tele-stroke... More
- Texas and Telehealth: New Bill Would Remove Toughest Hurdle for Practitioners In recent years, Texas has served as ground zero for a number of the most contentious legal battles surrounding telehealth. This week, State Senator Charles Schwertner, the chairman of the Committee on Health and Human Services, submitted a bill signifying progress for telemedicine and telehealth providers looking to practice in the Lone Star State. The bill, S.B. 1107, would remove one of the toughest hurdles for telemedicine and telehealth practitioners – the face-to-face meeting requirement. Providers would be able to... More
- Telehealth Innovation in Texas: Has Texas Gotten A Bad Rap? Much of the recent media scrutiny may suggest that Texas has gotten a bad rap when it comes to telehealth. But have recent reports painted an incorrect or unfair picture of telehealth innovation in Texas? The TexLa Telehealth Resource Center (“TexLa TRC”) certainly thinks so.
Recent media attention focused on Texas telehealth innovation suggests Texas is behind the telehealth curve. In a recent report, the Texas Business Association said, “Texas lags behind other states in establishing a supportive regulatory environment for... More
- HHS Telehealth Report To Congress: A Window Into Agency Thinking As requested by Congress as part of an appropriations bill signed into law late last year, this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report highlighting its e-health and telemedicine efforts. The report makes for interesting reading, and while there are no significant surprises in the report, it offers a clear snapshot of some of the agency’s thinking regarding virtual care.
The first thing I noted in the report is the agency’s view that “telehealth holds promise... More