Is the Expansion of Telemedicine Here to Stay? Will New Jersey Delay the Assessment on Licensed Ambulatory Surgery Centers? Banner Image

Healthcare Law Blog

Is the Expansion of Telemedicine Here to Stay? Will New Jersey Delay the Assessment on Licensed Ambulatory Surgery Centers?

June 16, 2020

For more information about this blog post, please contact Khaled J. KleleRyan M. MageeLabinot Alexander Berlajolli, or Daniel J. Parziale.


As we have
mentioned in several of our past updates, the federal and New Jersey
governments have greatly expanded telemedicine because of COVID-19.  Due
to the perceived success of that expansion, the question is will the expansion,
or parts of it, become permanent?  The New Jersey State Senate and
Assembly have already introduced duplicate bills, A4179/S2559,
which, if passed, will require health insurance carriers to reimburse providers
for telemedicine services at the same rates they reimburse providers for
in-person services. Besides maintaining reimbursement levels, these bills would
prevent health insurance carriers, Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare, and the State
Health Benefits Program ("SHBP") and the School Employees'
Health Benefits Program ("SEHBP") from adding “place of
service” requirements on providers as long as such services continue to meet
the same rigorous in-person standard of care, and the platform used meets
federal and State rules and guidelines regarding privacy.

On the
federal level, a new bill, Helping Ensure Access to Local TeleHealth, or
HEALTH Act, is being introduced in Congress, which would provide for permanent
Medicare payments for telemedicine services at federally qualified health
centers and rural health clinics.   It is expected, however, based on
comments from Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services ("CMS"), that a significant portion of the
telemedicine services that were expanded by CMS because of COVID-19 will become
permanent besides those services identified in the HEALTH Act.

We will
continue to keep track of these bills and other efforts to expand telemedicine
on the federal and State levels.

New Jersey
Ambulatory Surgery Center Assessment

In our
previous post,
we mentioned that A4201 was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly, which would
postpone the June 15, 2020 assessment for licensed ambulatory surgery
centers.  An amended version of the bill was recently introduced in the
Assembly, and is up for a vote in the Assembly on June 18, 2020 – three days
after the assessment is due.   We will continue to keep track of this
bill, but any licensed ambulatory surgery center should call the Department of
Health and seek a postponement of your assessment since A4201 has been delayed.

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