LeadingAge Sets 2021 Tech and Telehealth Policy Priorities

CAST | March 24, 2021 | by Donna Childress

Keeping pandemic-related telehealth flexibilities in Medicare tops the list.

As LeadingAge looks back on the challenges of 2020, it notes one silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic: the increased use of appropriate technologies to deliver care more safely, efficiently, and cost effectively. In many ways, the pandemic provided the “demo” of telehealth that many had asked for in the past.
In 2021, the industry is asking how to capitalize on the progress made during the pandemic. Concerns include how to incorporate telehealth into practice in an equitable and accessible way and to make it cost effective for the government and providers.

Please Register for 2021 Lobby Day, on April 21

LeadingAge CAST needs your help to advocate for these important policies as part of LeadingAge’s 2021 Lobby Day. Don’t miss your chance to meet virtually with your representatives on April 21, 2021. Register now.

LeadingAge 2021 Technology and Telehealth Policy Priorities

The LeadingAge policy team has outlined the following lists of 2021 Technology and Telehealth Policy Priorities.

117th Congress:

  • Telehealth Flexibilities: Make key pandemic-related telehealth provisions a permanent part of the Medicare program.
  • Allowable Technology: Continue flexibility in allowable technology modalities.
  • Home Health Telehealth: Seek reimbursement for home health telehealth visits.
  • Hospice: Allow hospice face to face recertification.
  • Telehealth Cliff: Prevent a telehealth “cliff” after the end of the public health emergency.
  • PACE and Telehealth: Reintroduce the Ensuring Parity in MA for Audio-Only Telehealth Act.
  • Housing and Technology: Support federal funding for the installation and service fees for wireless internet in all HUD-assisted senior housing communities’ units.
  • Meaningful Use: Support funding to assist in allowing aging services providers to access the same electronic health record (EHR) technology as their physician and hospital peers.
  • Nursing Homes and Telehealth: Allow all nursing homes to use telehealth models to improve care, such as in the Reducing Unnecessary Senior Hospitalizations (RUSH) Act.

Executive Branch:

  • CMS Telehealth Study: Support the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Commissioned Study on Telehealth Flexibilities.
  • 1135 Waivers: Advocate for review of telehealth and technology 1135 waivers to see which can be made permanent.
  • Monitoring: Monitor services allowed via telehealth.
  • RPM: Ensure that all appropriate aging services providers can utilize and bill for remote patient monitoring.
  • Claims Codes: Advocate for the creation of claims codes or modifiers to document home health and hospice virtual visits.
  • Demonstrations: Make Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation demonstrations inclusive of telehealth.
  • EHR Interoperability: Eliminate barriers to implement EHR interoperability.

For more information, see the LeadingAge 2021 Technology and Telehealth Policy Priorities in detail. You are also encouraged to view the full list of LeadingAge 2021 Policy Priorities.

More Actions You Can Take Now

Please also take these actions to support LeadingAge’s advocacy efforts:

Advocate: Visit the Advocacy Action Center to let your representative and senators know your views on eliminating barriers for the expansion of telehealth services in the Medicare program.

Chat with Congress: Host a Coffee Chat with Congress in your community to help your members of Congress understand how policies related to technology and not incorporating telehealth models in Medicare affect older adults.

Use the Advocacy Toolkit: Mobilize with the Advocacy Champions toolkit and let your representatives and senators know your views on technology and telehealth for older adults.