Maine Welcomes Telemedicine with New Board Guidelines

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The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine enacted new guidelines governing the practice of telemedicine and the use of technology to deliver health care services. Effective June 2014, Maine’s guidelines expand upon prior Board advisory rules and policies. The guidelines, which are flexible and forward-thinking to protect patient safety while allowing for health innovation, represent the Board’s overall approach to telemedicine practice in Maine. Continue reading this entry

4 Ways Medicare and Medicaid Have Changed the Health Care Industry

It’s a bizarre program that is absolutely essential to American healthcare.

That is the opinion of Theodore Marmor, professor of public policy at Yale and author of the book, The Politics of Medicare. Whether you agree with him or not, it is difficult to deny the influence of Medicare and Medicaid on the health care industry. To mark the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965, we have identified four ways these programs have shaped the health care industry. Continue reading this entry

MSSP Final Rule Adopts All Proposed Additional Program Requirements and Beneficiary Protections Provisions

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This is the sixth post in Health Care Law Today’s series on the final rule. This post addresses additional program requirements and beneficiary protections.

The Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”) final rule published on June 4, 2015 finalized all proposed additional program requirements and beneficiary protections outlined in the December 2014 proposed rule. The specific additional public reporting obligations that ACOs must fulfill to participate in the MSSP that CMS finalized include: Continue reading this entry

Colorado Proposes New Telehealth Rules

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The Colorado Medical Board proposed updated draft guidelines for the delivery of healthcare services via telehealth, as well as remote prescribing for new patients. Recognizing that “using telehealth technologies in the delivery of medical services offers potential benefits in the provision of medical care,” Colorado’s guidelines are intended to standardize care while increasing more widespread access for patients. And no: Colorado doctors are not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana via telehealth consults. Continue reading this entry

Congress Wows With Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015, But Will It Succeed?

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Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and co-sponsors Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) announced, on July 7, 2015, the introduction of the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015, forward-looking, bi-partisan legislation intended to modernize the way Medicare pays for telehealth services. Containing three implementation phases over a four year horizon, the Act proposes changes to Medicare telehealth payment methodologies and expands coverage not only to residents of rural areas, but urban areas as well. Continue reading this entry