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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Wondering What’s Happening with Telehealth Legislation in Ohio?

In December 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law HB 122, which will expand telehealth services in Ohio. The law takes effect in March 2022 and is in response to more patients relying on telehealth over the past two years during the height of the COVID pandemic, and more providers becoming comfortable with delivering services virtually. Telehealth is now a normalized healthcare delivery system nationwide. Beyond the safety benefits inherent in telehealth services, telehealth has made healthcare more accessible and more affordable for more people.

What Telemedical Barriers Practices Face and How They Can Manage Them

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many businesses and industries having to rapidly adapt new practices in order to stay profitable, and the healthcare industry is no exception. Although telehealth tools and practices have existed and been used since the Vietnam War, the pandemic has caused many individual healthcare practices to heavily rely on telehealth as a large portion of their service mix in order to continue to provide care for patients. Because of this rapid adoption of telehealth practices in order to combat the restrictions of COVID-19, the telemedicine industry’s revenue has exploded in the last year. Experts predict that telehealth will continue to grow in use beyond the current pandemic, estimating the industry’s worth to be $25 billion by 2025. However, this rapid adoption of telehealth was prompted out of need and has not been without its own barriers that practices now face.

FCC Adds $198 Million to Strengthen Telehealth for Rural Healthcare Providers

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has added an additional $198 million in funding to its Rural Health Care Program. These funds will be used to increase broadband services and telecommunications to bolster telehealth/telemedicine services for rural healthcare providers. Funding for rural healthcare providers was initially capped at $605 million in 2020, but the added funds will now allow the FCC to provide over $800 million to eligible providers.

Time to Update Your HIPAA Compliance Plan for Telehealth Policies and Procedures

The delivery of healthcare in this country may be forever changed following the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing services through telehealth technologies initially allowed providers to connect with patients in a safe and socially distant manner and helped keep vital hospital beds free for COVID-19 care. Now, while still a safe, socially distant option, telehealth allows patients to access healthcare services in an efficient manner, decreases the likelihood of cancellations, and expands access to services that do not require an in-person encounter (i.e., surgery, procedure, or test). Telehealth is now widely reimbursed by both federal and commercial payors and more provider types are able to provide telehealth services within their licensed scope of practice.

Webinar Recording: Telemedicine Legal and Practical Considerations for Physicians Practices

This webinar discusses the latest developments in telemedicine for physician practices, including Medicare, Medicaid and commercial payor reimbursement requirements, state licensure considerations and HIPAA requirements. Speakers: -Kyle Sharp, MHA, FACHE, Interim Associate VP & Executive Director, OSU Physicians, Inc. -Ronnen Isakov, CPA, Managing Director, Healthcare Advisory Services, Medic Management Group LLC -Kate Hickner, Healthcare & Hospital Law Partner, BMD -Kevin Cripe, Healthcare & Hospital Law Attorney, BMD The speakers will share their personal experiences working with health care providers to implement and grow their telemedicine practices during recent months. The webinar will provide listeners with practical guidance and take-aways that will be useful in their own organizations.

ODM and OhioMHAS Continue to Expand Telehealth

On July 17, 2020, Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-29D, which allowed the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) to immediately rescind old provisions and file a new rule (5160-1-18) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (“OhioMHAS”) to amend their current rule (5122-29-31), both expanding telehealth and introducing even more flexibility into Ohio’s healthcare system.

Ohio State Dental Board Implements Teledentistry Rules

Ohio law defines “teledentistry” as the delivery of dental services through the use of synchronous, real-time communication and the delivery of services of a dental hygienist or expanded function dental auxiliary pursuant to a dentist’s authorization.[1] The law requires a dentist who desires to provide dental services through teledentistry to apply for a teledentistry permit from the Ohio State Dental Board (“OSDB”).[2] Pursuant to the mandate under Ohio Revised Code 4715.436, the OSDB is implementing the following teledentistry permit rules and requirements (to be set forth under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4715-23). These regulations, which were subject of a public hearing on February 19, 2020, are effective on May 30, 2020.

Updated Guidance on Ohio Department of Medicaid Telehealth Rules During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency

In its initial response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) issued emergency rule 5160-1-21, which dramatically expanded reimbursable telehealth services, telehealth providers, allowable technology, location of both providers and patients, and covered billing provider types. See BMD’s initial COVID-19 and Telehealth Resource Guide here. This emergency rule provides wide flexibility for patients to receive necessary healthcare services while Ohio’s Stay-At-Home Order remains in place. Regulations are continually changing in response to the public health crisis, and on April 13, 2020, ODM issued new guidance further expanding telehealth services reimbursable under Ohio’s Medicaid program.

FCC Funding Opportunity for Telehealth Equipment – Portal Open

Telehealth is becoming a necessary practice for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not all providers have the means to institute a telehealth program. In order to help non-profit and public healthcare providers utilize telehealth, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) set aside $200 million in funds for telehealth equipment, broadband connectivity, and information services. The FCC has recently released a guidance document that describes how eligible providers can apply for this “COVID-19 Telehealth Program” and the portal for applying will open today, April 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM ET.

Will Your Business be Keying More Credit Card Transactions as a Result of COVID-19?

In this hectic time and uncertainty, owners are making hard decisions regarding their businesses. Some are shutting down, while others are adapting to the daily life changes of COVID-19. Many medical practices are seeing patients on an emergency basis and others are starting to implement a telehealth approach.

COVID-19 and Telehealth for Ohio and Florida

Over the last week, private insurers as well as federal and state healthcare programs have continued to issue updates to the provision of telehealth. In order to increase availability of appointments for a wide variety of services while also keeping patients and providers safe, many payors have expanded their telehealth offerings.

BMD COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Resource Guide

Providers - for the latest information related to Medicaid/Medicare, Telehealth, HIPAA, CPT Codes, as well as Ohio and Federal Information, click here for a comprehensive resource guide to navigating during the Coronavirus pandemic.