COVID-19 regulatory alert: Medicare telehealth restrictions lifted

03/17/2020 2:36 PM | Rebekah Francis (Administrator)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance on Secretary Azar’s waiver authority that broadens access to Medicare telehealth services. Effective March 6, 2020 and for the duration of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, CMS will:

·     Waive geographic restrictions, meaning patients can receive telehealth services in non-rural areas;

·     Waive originating site restrictions, meaning patients can receive telehealth services in their home;

·     Allow use of telephones that have audio and video capabilities; 

·     Allow reimbursement for any telehealth covered code, even if unrelated to COVID-19 diagnosis, screening, or treatment; and

·     Not enforce the established relationship requirement that a patient see a provider within the last three years.

The Medicare telemedicine healthcare provider fact sheet can be found here. The Medicare FAQ on these telehealth waivers can be found here. The Enforcement Discretion for telehealth remote communications during the COVID-19 notice can be found here.

This announcement follows MGMA efforts to encourage CMS to expeditiously expand telehealth coverage in response to the public health emergency.

Visit the MGMA COVID-19 Action Center for the latest developments impacting medical practices.


Contact MGMA Government Affairs by emailing or calling 202.293.3450, 877.275.6462 toll-free


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