Advances in technology have fundamentally changed how healthcare is delivered. Hospitals now have access to clinicians that provide high-quality care by remote locations. Twenty years ago, the idea of a physician in New York treating a patient in Montana via live computer feed was a pipe dream. Today, it’s common practice – and it’s called telemedicine.
As telemedicine has grown, so has the degree of regulatory oversight by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) . According to CMS, “telemedicine means the provision of clinical services to patients by physicians and practitioners from a distance via electronic communications.” Services can be provided either simultaneously, such as real-time interaction in an ICU, or non-simultaneously such as teleradiology services.
CMS has several regulations that address the provision of telemedicine services. For example, a hospital’s governing body must ensure, through a written agreement with a telemedicine entity, that all of the following provisions are met:
The telemedicine entity’s medical staff credentialing and privileging process must at least meet the CMS Conditions of Participation at §482.12(a)(1) through (a)(7) and §482.22(a)(1) through (a)(2).
The individual physician or practitioner must be privileged at the entity providing the telemedicine services.
The telemedicine entity must provide a hospital with a current list of the physician’s or practitioner’s privileges at the telemedicine entity.
The individual physician or practitioner must hold a license issued or recognized by the state in which the hospital whose patients are receiving such telemedicine services is located.
There are a great number of benefits to hospitals and patients when technology is harnessed to deliver the highest level of care available. Understanding your hospitals requirements and ensuring your compliance remains within the guidelines of CMS is as crucial as the care you provide.
Tune into CIHQ's Audio Conference on Nov 21st to understand all the Telemedicine regulation requirements. This conference will be brought to you by Richard Curtis, RN, MS, HACP, the Executive Director for CIHQ.
This informative audio conference will discuss:
What is telemedicine and what it is not
Key requirements by CMS governing the use of telemedicine services
Common compliance issues among hospitals
And much more…