POSTED ON MONDAY, MAY 4, 2020 1:23 PM

CMS has issued new 1135 waivers that temporarily discharge hospices from certain training requirements.  CMS is also not allowing hospices to bill for telehealth visits nor can they include them in their cost reports.

“We are postponing the deadline for completing this requirement throughout the COVID-19 [public health emergency (PHE)] until the end of the first full quarter after the declaration of the PHE concludes. This does not alter the minimum personnel requirements,” the agency indicated in a statement.

The recent $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package, designed to help the economy and essential industries weather the impact of the pandemic, contains provisions related to hospice telehealth, including permitting practitioners to re-certify patients via telemedicine appointments rather than face-to-face encounters. These waivers are only good during this pandemic.  Unfortunately, hospices are not being allowed to bill for the telehealth services.

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