May 9, 2023
Providers | Tea Leaves
  • Telehealth rules created during the pandemic that allowed for the prescribing of controlled substances without an in-person visit will stay in place as is until November 11. The Drug Enforcement Administration filed the rule to extend telehealth flexibilities, which will take effect on Thursday when the COVID-19 public health emergency expires. Any existing provider-patient telehealth relationship established before November 11, 2023, can continue through November 2024. A timeline for when the DEA expects to make a final decision on the future of the policy remains unclear, but a senior agency official said they’re working to have clear regulations in place for patients before the extension expires. (Article here)
  • Home care providers are pushing back on part of a proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requiring states to spend 80 percent of Medicaid home- and community-based services funds on caregiver wages. The proposal is aimed at attracting and retaining more direct care workers as the industry continues to face severe staffing challenges due to the high demand for in-home care from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some providers say they could be forced to pause hiring, cut workers, or go out of business if they are unable to use home- and community-based services funds for staff training and administrative costs. Providers have until the end of June to comment on the proposal and make suggestions for alternative thresholds. CMS is expected to release the final rule in the fall and give states up to four years to comply with it. (Article here)