Based on concerns raised by the AAMC and others last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended its COVID-19 waivers and flexibilities regarding (1) virtual supervision of resident physicians and (2) outpatient hospital billing for remote services provided to patients in their homes [refer to Washington Highlights, April 28].
Specifically, the agency will allow virtual supervision of residents by teaching physicians in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) through Dec. 31. For non-MSAs, virtual supervision of residents will be allowed permanently. Through Dec. 31, the CMS will exercise enforcement discretion to allow hospitals to receive payment for telehealth services provided by hospital-employed physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and clinical staff providing Diabetes Self-Management Training or Medical Nutrition Therapy whose services are billed on the institutional claim form UB-04.
Updates to these policies were included in a May 12 FAQ document on the agency’s website. The CMS plans to consider its policies on virtual supervision and outpatient hospital billing for remote services in future rulemaking, and therefore these policies may be modified or extended in the future.
These changes are now reflected in an updated version of the AAMC resource, COVID-19 PHE Waivers and Flexibilities Chart. The chart includes an overview of the status of these waivers and flexibilities post-public health emergency (PHE) and indicates which of the flexibilities and waivers have been made permanent and the expiration dates of those that will be terminated.