by JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH
Just one week before the ATA EDGE Policy Conference (12/7-12/9 Washington DC) we get a SNEAK PEEK at what’s topping the agenda – and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA)’s list of priorities for 2023 – to ensure that digital health and virtual care providers avoid the ‘telehealth cliff’ that could send us back to pre-pandemic scaling issues of both practice and reimbursement.
Kyle Zebley, SVP of Public Policy at the ATA and Executive Director of ATA Action (the ATA’s affiliate advocacy organization) gives us the skinny on where policies currently stand at the federal and state level and, more importantly, what’s in jeopardy of changing soon. The list is long – everything from interstate practice to originating site stipulations, in-person visit requirements (especially for tele-mental health visits), and a number of favorable reimbursement policies that made telehealth a covered benefit at federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and under some high-deductible health plans. And, these are just to name a few…
Right now, the pandemic’s public health emergency is still in effect until mid-January, and, though it is expected to be renewed, the renewal will only get us into the second quarter of 2023. Kyle gives us the in-depth details on what ATA is advocating for and how they’re doing it. Of particular interest is the work being done to preserve clinicians’ ability to deliver cross-state care. The details here are fascinating. Kyle explains the nuances of tactics like licensure compacts and common sense exceptions that are being explored to permanently extend cross-state telehealth care, as well as the role the federal government can play in helping these policies along by incentivizing states to adopt these them through a “carrot-and-stick approach.”
The time to get involved is now, Health Tech! Get your start by watching this in-depth chat with Kyle to get caught up on where things stand, then check out ATA’s site for information on what you can do to support these on-going efforts to keep virtual care a growing vehicle for healthcare delivery.
* Special thanks to Wheel, sponsor of this special monthly WTF Health series on the policies that are changing telehealth and virtual care. Wheel is the health tech company powering the virtual care industry, provides companies with everything they need to launch and scale virtual care services — including the regulatory infrastructure to deliver high quality and compliant care. Learn more at www.wheel.com.