Final Rule Streamlines Telemedicine Credentialing

A final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) May 2 simplifies the process hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) can use for credentialing and granting privileges to physicians and other practioners who deliver care through telemedicine. The new regulations are intended to make telemedicine services easier to obtain for beneficiaries, particularly those who live in rural areas.

Prior to the new CMS regulations, practitioners could not provide care via telemedicine unless they were granted practice privileges by both their home hospital and the remote hospital or CAH to which the telemedicine services were being delivered.

The final rule takes the burden off of small hospitals and CAHs that use the telemedicine services of practitioners from distant-site telemedicine entities.

A hospital or CAH that furnishes telemedicine services to its patients may now rely on information provided by the distant hospital (often a larger medical center) or the telemedicine entity with which it has an agreement.

More information about the finalized rule is available in the hospital and CAH sections on CMS’ website.

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