Telehealth Regulation (COVID Updates): Licensure, Definition of Telehealth and Tech Platforms

Mantra Health's Parked Thoughts Blog

David Florin and Amy Lerman, Members of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, co-authored an article in Mantra Health’s Parked Thoughts Blog, titled “Licensure, Definition of Telehealth and Tech Platforms,” as part of Mantra Health’s “Telehealth Regulation Series: The Impact of COVID on Higher Education.”

Following is an excerpt:

Overview of Key Regulatory Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has made significant changes to its telehealth coverage and reimbursement rules in response to COVID-19, including but not limited to:

  • Waiver of the requirement that providers have a valid license for the state in which they provide care; and
  • Expansion of the list of acceptable platforms upon which telehealth services may be provided.

However, the guidance that has come from CMS is only applicable to federal health care programs. Such guidance may not apply to a large segment of the higher education student population, given the relatively small numbers of students receiving coverage under a federal health care program. It nevertheless is important to understand the federal-level guidance to the extent it can provide a roadmap for similar changes that may be occurring not only at the state level but also by private insurers.

Of note, the relaxation of federal and state laws stems from the COVID-19 national public health emergency and, as specifically stated by many authorities, is temporary in its nature. We cannot predict when the national public health emergency period will end or the extent to which these emergency actions will change the prior regulatory and legal framework more permanently. However, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, higher education providers should anticipate that most, if not all, regulatory and legal changes will revert back to the status quo as it existed prior to the COVID-19 emergency.