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View Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

January 23, 2021


All News > Teleheath

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FMLA in the COVID-19 Era: Telemedicine and Workplace Postings
Ballard Spahr LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 8, 2021

"On December 29, 2020, the [DOL] issued two guidance documents addressing: [1] telemedicine visits as qualifying treatment visits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and [2] satisfaction of FMLA workplace posting requirements through electronic notifications. The new requirements reflect the evolving workplace landscape, support social distancing and infection control efforts, and facilitate the availability of health care."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Teleheath

DOL Cements Telehealth Visits for FMLA Purposes as the New Normal
Dickinson Wright Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 4, 2021

"[To] be FMLA-qualifying, the DOL's guidance clarified that the visit must include all the following: [1] An exam, evaluation, or treatment by an FMLA-qualifying healthcare provider; [2] Pass muster and be accepted by the respective state licensing authorities; and [3] Be by video conference (so not just audio, telephone call, text message, etc.)."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Teleheath

Telemedicine Visits Count Towards FMLA Time Under New DOL Guidance
Fisher Phillips Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 4, 2021

"While there may have previously been confusion or uncertainty about whether remote visits to a healthcare provider should be considered as valid 'treatment' that would render an employee eligible for protected time off under federal law, [FAB 2020-08] offers the first definitive word from federal authorities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that this temporary policy will be extended for the foreseeable future. The agency also released [FAB 2020-07] on how employers can satisfy federal posting requirements via electronic communication methods."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FMLA and Other Leave  •  Teleheath

CMS Looks to Permanently Expand Telehealth Services
FierceHealthcare Link to more items from this source
Dec. 3, 2020

"The Trump administration added more than 60 telehealth services that will be reimbursable during the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes to telehealth coverage will also be allowed permanently in rural areas."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Medicare  •  Teleheath

Texas Governor Announces Agreement With Health Insurers to Continue Payment Parity for Telehealth
Jackson Walker Link to more items from this source
Oct. 5, 2020

"Governor Greg Abbott announced ... that Texas' major health insurers have agreed to continue reimbursing network healthcare providers for telehealth appointments at the same rate which they pay for office visits through the end of 2020.... [An] estimated 4.5 million Texans have begun using virtual healthcare services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Local Regulation  •  Teleheath

The Emerging Need for Telehealth Approaches for the Treatment of Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Milliman Link to more items from this source
Oct. 5, 2020

"The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant mental health challenges for many around the world, both directly due to the consequences of the disease, and indirectly due to the difficult circumstances that arise from mitigation strategies. Telehealth visits may become part of the new 'normal' for replacing, or at least supplementing, office visit-based treatment for behavioral health conditions."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Teleheath

New York Updates Definition of Telehealth to Include 'Audio-Only' Communications
Bond, Schoeneck & King Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 19, 2020

"With this law, the definition of 'telehealth' under New York's Public Health Law will include four general modalities by which telehealth providers can deliver appropriate 'health care services' ... [1] telemedicine; [2] store and forward technology; [3] remote patient monitoring; and [4] audio-only telephone communications."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Local Regulation  •  Teleheath

Removing Regulatory Barriers to Telehealth Before and After COVID-19
The Brookings Institution Link to more items from this source
May 7, 2020

"State and federal barriers in the use of telehealth and AI have served as hindrances to the launch of its full capabilities, particularly those laws that present a patchwork of accepted and non-eligible costs and services. Given that telehealth now has a critical role in the mitigation of COVID-19, how well will the U.S. take guidance from its rapid adoption and use?"

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design  •  Teleheath

COVID-19 Spurs IRS Relief for HDHPs, State Insurance Guidance (PDF)
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 20, 2020

11 pages. "[This article] provides brief summaries and links to state COVID-19 guidance for insurance carriers. Not all states have issued guidance, but more may do so in the near future. This article concludes with some considerations for employers."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Teleheath

CMS and States Revise Requirements Affecting Telehealth Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
Vorys Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 19, 2020

"[T]he State Medical Board of Ohio [has suspended]  enforcement of any regulations requiring in-person visits between providers and patients, including regulations related to providers prescribing to patients not seen in-person by the physician.... [T]he Texas Medical Board [is suspending certain sections] of the Texas Administrative Code. Specifically: [1] physicians may use telemedicine, including the use of telephone only, to establish a physician-patient relationship and [2] the use of telemedicine may be used for diagnosis, treatment, ordering of tests, and prescribing for all conditions.... [T]he Pennsylvania Department of Human Services' Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced the temporary suspension of certain requirements for providing behavioral health services via telehealth."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Teleheath

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Issues for Employers
Thompson Hine Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 19, 2020

"This bipartisan legislation expands employee sick leave benefits, expands access to medical services, and provides monetary assistance to impacted Americans.... [1] Expansion of coverage required under group health plans ... [2] Impact on high deductible health plans ... [3] Expansion of telehealth coverage ... [4] Benefit continuation during expanded leave ... [5] Tax credits for smaller employers."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Teleheath

California Department of Managed Health Care Issues 'All Plans' Letter on Social Distancing and COVID-19
Sheppard Mullin Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 19, 2020

"[T]he Department encourages plans to expand the use of telehealth by [1] expediting or relaxing any pre-authorization/pre-certification requirements for contracted providers, so that providers are able to more quickly offer services via telehealth; and [2] waiving any telehealth cost-sharing above that which would be applicable if the provider had delivered in-person care.... [T]he Department encourages plans to decrease the need for in-person pharmacy visits[.]"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Local Regulation  •  Teleheath

Massachusetts Health Insurance Carriers Respond to COVID-19
Mintz Link to more items from this source
Mar. 19, 2020

"Massachusetts has directed health insurance carriers to ... relax cost-sharing and enhance telemedicine services.... Massachusetts carriers have answered the call by enhancing benefits and services, in some cases beyond what the new directives require. Employers can play a key role by informing employees of these new benefits and encouraging employees to use the benefits."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Teleheath

January 23, 2021

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