Courtesy of Justice in Aging
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published an interim final rule (IFR) entitled Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. The IFR reinterprets and clarifies several Medicare rules and policies for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period, including further expanding telehealth services to fulfill requirements for visits that usually must be in person (e.g., nursing home admission and discharge visits, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, home health and hospice); expanding the destinations to which ambulance services can be covered by Medicare; allowing coverage for home testing for COVID-19; stating that someone can be “homebound” in order to qualify for home health coverage if a physician determines that it is contraindicated for the Medicare beneficiary to leave home because they have a condition that may make them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19, or due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19. (It does not waive the homebound requirement.)
Although the rule is already in effect and retroactive to March 1, it is open for public comment through June 1.