March 17, 2020
AMA: Medicare Policy Change on Telemedicine Enhances Nation’s Digital Health Care Capacity.
Statement Attributed To Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., President, American Medical Association.
“Administrator Verma took strong steps today to enhance the nation’s digital health care capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic by lifting Medicare restrictions on the use of certain telemedicine services. The American Medical Association (AMA) applauds this important Medicare policy change to support social distancing measures that slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, while providing safe screening and treatment to patients through remote care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also noted that penalties will not be imposed on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The AMA had urged the administration to be flexible and the steps CMS has taken demonstrate the agency was listening.
“The use of telemedicine and remote care services are critical to the management of the COVID-19, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions. The AMA encourages any private payers that are not already covering telehealth services to remove those limitations now. The AMA stands ready to help physicians expand their use of telemedicine and continues to invest in resources that provide physicians with a proven path for integrating telemedicine and digital health technologies into patient care.
“The AMA offers the Quick Guide to Telemedicine in Practice, a new resource to help mobilize remote care with implementation tips, as well as a reference to Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes for reporting telemedicine and remote care services. The AMA also offers an education module in the AMA’s STEPS Forward™ that can help physicians use telemedicine in practice, and the Digital Health Implementation Playbook with a 12-steps process for adopting remote monitoring of patients outside the traditional clinical environment.”
Robert J. Mills
American Medical Association
About the AMA
The American Medical Association is the powerful ally and unifying voice for America’s physicians, the patients they serve, and the promise of a healthier nation. The AMA attacks the dysfunction in health care by removing obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care. It reimagines medical education, training, and lifelong learning for the digital age to help physicians grow at every stage of their careers, and it improves the health of the nation by confronting the increasing chronic disease burden. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.