CMS Updates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Telehealth for Medicare Beneficiaries

In response to concerns raised by stakeholders regarding the status of important Medicare Part B telehealth waivers affecting residents of nursing facilities and assisted living residences, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued updated guidance. The latest updates can be found in the CMS Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency FAQs, specifically addressing FAQs #22 and #23. 
FAQ #22 reaffirms that the provisions of the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 recognize physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), and speech-language pathologists (SLP) who work in office- or facility-based settings as distant site practitioners under Medicare law. 
Regarding FAQ #23, CMS has stated that physicians will be able to continue providing telehealth services to residents of nursing facilities for visits other than the mandatory 30 or 60-day in-person visits required under 42 CFR 483.30. This flexibility will be in effect until at least December 31, 2023. 
These decisions have extended the telehealth flexibilities for Medicare beneficiaries residing in nursing facilities and assisted living settings, particularly benefiting those in rural and underserved areas. This extension ensures ongoing access to therapy and physician telehealth services under Medicare Part B, similar to the provisions implemented during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Providers, including nursing facilities, will be able to submit claims for these telehealth services as they have been doing during the public health emergency. 
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