Visit the ACCC COVID-19 Resource Center & Discussion Group for Insights on Providing Optimal Patient Care During the Pandemic.
 

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Overview

Adoption & Expansion of Telehealth Solutions

Sustaining care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic has required cancer programs and practices nationwide to quickly adopt and expand telehealth services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), private payers, and state regulatory bodies have helped enable a remarkably rapid expansion of telehealth by removing the reimbursement and legislative barriers that had long impeded broad telehealth adoption. The result was immediate: Approximately 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries received telehealth services in the week ending April 18, compared to 11,000 in the week ending March 7, representing an increase of more than 11,718% in just one and a half months.

As uncertainty continues amid the COVID-19 public health emergency, providers and patients are embracing telehealth to meet specific care needs. Cancer practices and programs are honing its use, demonstrating how telemedicine can enable new approaches to expanding access to care to traditionally underserved groups and under-resourced suburban and rural areas.

Many providers and payers are lobbying for the waivers that have enabled the current widespread use of telehealth to become permanent, and there are signs that might happen. Seema Verma, CMS administrator, has said in reference to telehealth’s explosive growth, “I can’t imagine going back.”

This ACCC educational initiative addresses the immediate and ongoing needs of cancer programs and practices that want to implement, integrate, and expand their telehealth services to optimize patient care during the current public health emergency and beyond. This initiative aims to educate members of the multidisciplinary cancer care team about how to optimize their use of telehealth by providing the resources, tools, and information they need to keep telehealth an essential component of quality cancer care.

The Adoption & Expansion of Telehealth Solutions initiative is comprised of five integrated programs:

  1. Rapid Response: Provide the information and education cancer programs need now for successfully integrating and expanding telehealth solutions.
  2. State of Affairs (Policy): Inform ongoing advocacy efforts and educate cancer programs and practices about key policy issues regarding reimbursement for telehealth services as well as changing federal and state regulations.
  3. Telehealth Team: Provide practical instruction for the multidisciplinary cancer care team to optimize the use of telehealth from a workflow, operational, and economic perspective.
  4. PluggedIN: Address the importance of a strong IT foundation for telemedicine and provide instruction on how to effectively integrate telehealth services across differently resourced programs.
  5. Blueprint: Formulate tested, step-by-step approaches to building robust telehealth programs capable of expanding as needed.

Telehealth Reimbursement Update

Since a public health emergency was enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated the coding guidelines and waivers multiple times. Staying informed on these rapidly shifting updates can seem daunting.

Teri Bedard, BA, RT(R)(T), CPC, Executive Director, Client & Corporate Resources, Revenue Cycle Coding Strategies, will highlight what your cancer program needs to know by discussing the changes to telehealth services, supervision, provider-based designations, and coding for services.

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This webcast is supported by Lilly and Amgen.

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This project is supported by Lilly and Amgen.