CMS Rule Eases Authorization Requirements for Telehealth

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today issued a final rule implementing changes to the Medicare Conditions of Participation for the credentialing and privileging of telemedicine physicians and practitioners. The Medicare CoPs previously required the governing body of a hospital to make all privileging decisions based on the recommendation of the hospital’s medical staff after the medical staff had thoroughly reviewed the credentials of practitioners applying for privileges. Similarly, each critical access hospital was required to have its privileging decisions made by its governing body or the individual responsible for the CAH. This requirement was applied regardless of whether the services are to be provided onsite at the hospital or through a telecommunications system. Today’s final rule allows the hospital or CAH receiving the telemedicine services to  Continue reading

Credentialing Telemedicine to be Streamlined Soon

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has transmitted to the Office of Management and Budget a final rule to streamline credentialing processes for physicians and other practitioners providing telemedicine services.

OMB review is one of the last steps before a rule is officially published in the Federal Register. The rule will revise conditions of participation for hospitals and critical access hospitals to permit a new credentialing and privileging process for telemedicine practitioners.

“We recognize the advantages and benefits that telemedicine provides for patients and are interested in reducing the burden and the duplicative efforts of the traditional credentialing and privileging process for Medicare-participating hospitals, both those which provide telemedicine services and those which use such services,” CMS stated in a proposed rule published in May 2010. “Therefore, we are proposing to revise both the hospital and CAH credentialing and privileging requirements to eliminate these regulatory impediments and allow for the advancement of telemedicine nationwide while still protecting the health and safety of patients.”