CMS just announced a clarification that remote patient monitoring under CPT code 99457 may be furnished by auxiliary personnel, “incident to” the billing practitioner’s professional services. An “incident to” service is one that is performed under the supervision of a physician (broadly defined), and billed to Medicare in the name of the physician, subject to certain requirements, one of which is discussed below. The announcement came in a technical correction issued March 14, 2019 and is effective immediately. This is a highly-anticipated change among remote patient monitoring companies, as we discussed in greater detail in our previous coverage.
Last week, the federal HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) gave the greenlight to allow a virtual care company and pharmaceutical manufacturer to loan patients free smartphones, so the patients (which include Medicare beneficiaries) could use the smartphones to track their drug therapy adherence via a mobile digital health app. The OIG’s recent Advisory Opinionmarks the sixth favorable telemedicine/digital health advisory opinion issued by OIG to date. This article describes the drug and digital health technology, outlines the proposed program for free smartphones, and explains why OIG issued a favorable advisory opinion.
The Delaware Board of Medicine recently enacted new regulations pertaining to telemedicine and telehealth. As we previously reported, the new regulations are intended to clarify the language in Delaware’s Medical Practice Act, which imposes certain practice standards for what constitutes an appropriate patient diagnosis and treatment via telemedicine, including the allowable modalities and when an in-person examination is required. The new regulations add Rule 19.0 to Chapter 1700 of the Code of Delaware Regulations and became effective June 11, 2018.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signed into law, on March 24, 2016, a new bill (House Bill No. 4463) implementing a variety of telemedicine practice standards and remote prescribing rules in the Mountain State. Effective June 11, 2016, the bill passed the House and Senate unanimously, reflecting strong bi-partisan support.