On May 5, CMS recognized several
new interstate license compacts for physicians and non-physician practitioners.
The uptick of telehealth services due to COVID-19 has increased the urgency for
will require practitioners under a compact to fulfill both the licensure
requirements in their primary state and the requirements outlined by the interstate
compact laws that each state participating in the compact adopts. The
interstate license compacts will be handled as credible licenses that meet CMS
federal license requirements.
Medicare Administrative Compacts (MACs) will now accept
CMS-855 enrollment applications from practitioners with an interstate license
compact and allow previously denied applications to be reconsidered for
processing. The following resources are available for additional information:
On May 12, the Joint Commission released a statement
on the importance removing the barriers to mental health treatment for healthcare
providers and non-clinical staff. The COVID-19 pandemic places additional
pressures on healthcare workers, but many do not seek mental health support or treatment
because they believe that it could negatively affect their careers,
credentials, or licensing statuses.
The Joint Commission strongly encourages organizations not to
inquire about a practitioner’s history of mental health and supports the FSMB's
and AMA's recommendation, “to limit inquiries to conditions that currently
impair the clinician’s ability to perform their job.”
The Joint Commission supports eliminating any obstacles and
policies that discourage healthcare workers from obtaining mental health
services. It is critical that organizations pay attention to healthcare
workers’ mental health and ensure they have access to mental health treatment
during this time.
On May 11, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded telehealth services and relaxed certain requirements with the issuance of additional waivers. The recent waivers and further expansion of telehealth services add to those CMS released at the end of March will remain in place through the end of the COVID-emergency declaration. Among other areas, the waivers:
Expand the types of healthcare practitioners who may be reimbursed for Medicare telehealth services to all practitioners who are eligible to bill Medicare for non-telehealth services.
Permit more services via audio-only technology. CMS no longer requires two-way, real-time interactive communication between patient and practitioner for certain services. Please review the CMS list of Medicare telehealth services.
Allow physicians to continue practicing at the hospital where their privileges would otherwise expire and for new physicians to practice prior to full review and approval by the credentialing body.
Waive the minimum personnel qualifications for clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants.
Defer staff licensure, certification, or registration to state law.
Enable long-term care facilities to take 10 working days to provide a resident a copy of their requested records.
On April 23, NAMSS teamed up with the American Telehealth
Association to host a webinar “Telemedicine Legal Considerations: Credentialing
by Proxy.” The webinar covered the legal and practical aspects of credentialing
by proxy, telemedicine lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis, and the
NAMSS-ATA Credentialing by Proxy (CBP) Guide.
Webinar presenters described telemedicine’s rising status
amid COVID-19 because it enhances care for those in COVID-19 hotspots, remote
locations, provides quality and timely specialty care in areas without specialized
practitioners, improves care continuity and case management, and enables patients
to receive care without sacrificing quality over convenience.
Diane Meldi, MBA, CPCS, CPMSM, NAMSS Government Relations
Liaison, Ty Bozkurt, MBA, FACHE, ATA Board Member, and Maureen Kozlowski, CPCS,
CPMSM presented the
NAMSS-ATA Credentialing By Proxy- A Guidebook, a resource medical staffs
can use to modify credentialing and privileging requirements to facilitate
The webinar highlighted the challenges the traditional
credentialing process imposes on telemedicine, especially for tertiary
facilities or specialty groups who deploy multiple practitioners to provide
services, many of whom are providing services in multiple facilities and
perhaps in multiple states. The webinar provided guidance on how healthcare
facilities could use proxy credentialing to address these barriers.
CBP is an alternative credentialing mechanism medical staffs
can use to obtain telemedicine services for their patients and credential
telemedicine practitioners who deliver their services from distant-site
entities. Originating-site entities can use CBP to streamline the credentialing
process to efficiently expand service offerings and clinical support, without
burdening medical staff personnel. For distant site entities, CBP reduces the
paperwork, time, and expenses associated with credentialing practitioners at
the originating sites.
The “Telemedicine Legal Considerations: Credentialing by
Alan Einhorn, JD, Foley & Lardner, LLP
Ann Mond Johnson, CEO - American Telehealth Association
Diane Meldi, MBA, CPCS, CPMSM, Senior Consultant
- Ministry Medical Staff Mercy Quality & Safety Center, NAMSS Government
Maureen Kozlowski, CPCS, CPMSM, Director - Support
Services Mercy Virtual
Ty Bozkurt, MBA, FACHE, Chief Technology Officer
- Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America, ATA Board Member
The “Telemedicine Legal Considerations: Credentialing by
Proxy”webinarrecording will be available for purchase on the NAMSS
website this Friday, May 8. In the meantime, stay connected by