Exploring the Post-Pandemic Hospice Telehealth Landscape
While CMS has not announced any permanent element of the policy changes, provisions to expand telehealth are likely to continue long-term, with many hospice leaders and advocates in full support. Making temporary policy changes permanent would involve further consideration to work out several ongoing kinks as hospices navigate the telehealth landscape post-COVID-19.
During this period of national disaster, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has waived regulatory requirements under section 1135 of the Social Security Act, allowing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue waivers relaxing conditions of participation (CoPs) for hospices and health care providers, including expanded use of telehealth for patient care. Telehealth visits have helped providers continue caring for those who need it most with continued clinical patient care and interdisciplinary services that support hospice care.