On April 26, the AAMC sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urging the agency to continue to allow virtual supervision of resident physicians in all geographic regions after the public health emergency (PHE) ends “for services that may be safely and effectively provided under virtual supervision, especially primary care and mental health services, which may be furnished using telehealth.” When the PHE ends, virtual supervision of residents will be allowed only in nonmetropolitan statistical areas under Medicare.
While the letter commended the CMS for recognizing the importance of access to care in rural areas, it pointed out that workforce shortages are impacting access to care in other regions of the country. The letter explained that virtual supervision has been critical in enabling expanded access to health care services during the PHE, and residents have been virtually supervised safely and effectively. It emphasized that “continuing to allow virtual supervision of residents for certain types of services in all geographic regions will increase the workforce capacity of teaching institutions, increase access to care for patients, and allow important experience and training for the future physician workforce under appropriate supervision.”
The PHE is slated to end on May 11 [refer to Washington Highlights, May 11].