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Telemedicine in the Age of COVID-19 

by Kelly Hagan, Scott Eads, Jason Wrubleski, Thomas Allen, Gary Bruce

Published: December, 2020

Submission: December, 2020

 



With many medical practices and healthcare practitioners moving to telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic, questions abound on legal requirements, privacy, and the future of healthcare.


Schwabe’s Healthcare team has taken a closer look at the legal issues surrounding the rise of telemedicine during the pandemic and the implications for our healthcare future in the four articles below.


We encourage you to contact one of Schwabe's attorneys to explore how these issues may affect your organization.


Opinion: Privacy Challenges Ahead for Telehealth Adopters


Explore what post-pandemic telehealth might look like when it is once again subject to strict privacy and security requirements under HIPAA.


Telehealth has come of age during the pandemic, aided in part by the relaxation of privacy and security requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). While we can expect better access to and reimbursement of telehealth services post-pandemic, we also should expect a return to pre-pandemic HIPAA privacy and security requirements. Read more >


 


Evolution of the Physician-Patient Relationship in the Era of Telemedicine


How have the ethical obligations that the physician-patient relationship imposes on physicians been transformed in the age of telemedicine? Learn more here.


The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted a large part of our lives to virtual platforms—and the delivery of healthcare is no different. As it has become difficult or inadvisable to arrange face-to-face visits between physicians and their patients, scores of physicians have flocked to the use of telemedicine. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine had been hailed as the healthcare delivery model of the future, but many physicians were hesitant to utilize telemedicine for a variety of reasons, including concerns about privacy, confidentiality, quality of care, and the technological capabilities (or lack thereof) of the provider and patient. Read more >


 


Telehealth Services Will Transform Access and Quality of Healthcare


How have the ethical obligations that the physician-patient relationship imposes on physicians been transformed in the age of telemedicine? Learn more here. 


There may never be a better time for your medical practice to start developing its telemedicine portfolio. Recently, the federal government has made it easier for healthcare practitioners to provide and bill for telemedicine services. While some of these changes are temporary, applying only while the COVID-19 public health emergency persists, other changes are permanent. And the trend lines are becoming more distinct—providers who fail to offer remote visit options for their patients will increasingly find themselves struggling to fill their appointment calendars and meet their financial targets. Read more >


 


Physician Referral Laws, Telemedicine, and COVID-19


Learn more about the waivers and guidance concerning payments and physician referrals that have been issued for medical services during the pandemic.


 

To facilitate the provision of medical services related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) have issued waivers and other guidance concerning payments and referrals that may otherwise implicate the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) and the Physician Self-Referral Law (“Stark law”).  Read more >


 


 

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