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Letter

Jared Huffman

From the office of:

Jared Huffman

Sending Office: Honorable Jared Huffman
Sent By:
Jordan.Sciascia@mail.house.gov

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CLOSING COB TODAY 3/21

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in asking that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services allow medical professionals, federally qualified health centers, and rural health clinics to bill for telehealth conducted over the phone. Despite the new guidance the Center for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided that expands telehealth during this time of crisis, however, many medical professionals are left out. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHC) are not able to take advantage
of the new guidance, and doctors are still unable to bill for simple phone calls that last longer than 10 minutes.

In this time of high demand and great need, all medical facilities, even those less resourced clinics who lack the equipment and software to meet the requirements for what is defined as telemedicine, must receive payment for telephone calls to patients in
lieu of in-person office visits.

As the nation works to overcome this global pandemic, we must ensure that all medical professionals can be compensated for the work they are doing by making this urgently needed change under applicable law and policy. If you have any questions, please contact
Jordan Sciascia with Congressman Huffman at Jordan.Sciascia@mail.house.gov or Felipe Galvis-Delgado with Congresswoman Torres Small at Felipe.Galvis-Delgado@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

 

Jared Huffman                    Xochitl Torres Small

Member of Congress          Member of Congress

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

March XX, 2020

Dear Administrator Verma, 

We appreciate the new guidance the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided to expands telehealth during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis. However, many medical professionals are left out. Federally Qualified Health Centers
(FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHC) are not able to take advantage of the new guidance, and doctors are still unable to bill for simple phone calls that last longer than 10 minutes. We ask that CMS adjust telehealth service definitions to allow FQHCs and
RHCs to include Medicare codes 99441 994412, and 99443 as a reimbursable expense.

Currently, medical professionals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are exercising every measure to assess and aid patients while simultaneously working to protect health care providers from the virus. Telehealth services are key to this approach.
However, some facilities, particularly FQHCs and RHCs serving disadvantaged and more rural communities, do not have video capability and as a result are not reimbursed for this service. In this time of high demand and great need, all medical facilities, even
those less resourced clinics who lack the equipment and software to meet the requirements for what is defined as telemedicine, must receive payment for telephone calls to patients in lieu of in-person office visits.

The request to pay for telephone calls does not detract from medical facilities with telemedicine capabilities, rather, it would help those less resourced clinics who lack the AV equipment/software to meet the requirements for what is defined as telemedicine.
This would allow such clinics to be paid for telephone calls to patients following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to stay home and seek care remotely, if possible.

We are grateful to our medical professional community for all the critical services they are providing to our communities during this public health crisis. Now, we must ensure they are compensated properly. Therefore, we ask that CMS allow medical professionals at
FQHCs, and RHCs to bill for telephone consultations. As the nation works to overcome this global pandemic, we must ensure that all medical professionals can be compensated for the work they are doing by making this urgently needed change under applicable law
and policy. We thank you for your consideration of our request. 

Sincerely, 

 

Jared Huffman                                                                        Xochitl Torres Small

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress

 

 

 

 

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: HealthCare

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