Member Update 3-26: Humana Encouraging Use of Telehealth; Temporarily Updates Policy to Include Phone Service
Humana is encouraging the use of telehealth services to ease the systemic burdens from COVID-19. Therefore, effective March 23, 2020, Humana is temporarily updating its telehealth policy during the emergency period to allow for telephone-only services in addition to telehealth services via video + audio.
KMA has produced a one-page guide for physicians, available here, for utilizing telehealth with Humana patients. This document is available to members as an informational resource. KMA expresses no opinion as to the feasibility, applicability, or impact to your particular practice. The guidance outlined applies to Anthem plans only.
CALL TO ACTION: Contact Congressman Massie and Encourage Support for the CARES Act
Late Wednesday night the Senate approved a massive $2 trillion stimulus and COVID-19 relief package. The final version, known as the CARES Act, contains over $100 Billion in relief to health care providers. Provisions of interest to physicians and their practices include the following:
- Creates a new loan product within the Small Business Administration for loans of up to $10 million to help cover payroll and overhead costs, with expanded loan forgiveness criteria. Physician practices with not more than 500 employees may qualify.
- $100 billion in direct financial support to hospitals, physician practices, and other health care providers under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. This support is for costs of treating COVID-19 patients as well as to ease the financial impact on those who lose revenue due reductions in other services as a result of the pandemic. Exact eligibility criteria and application process is not yet defined pending implementation.
- Suspension of the 2% Medicare sequester in May through December 2020.
- Limitations on liability for volunteer health care professionals during COVID-19 emergency response.
- A temporary waiver of the face-to-face visit requirement with home dialysis patients.
- Authority for the Secretary of HHS to waive telehealth coverage requirements for new patients during a national emergency. Previous legislation provided flexibility only for established patients seen within the past three years.
- Secretary will also allow for enhanced use of telehealth under Medicare for federally qualified health centers.
This legislation is crucial for the survival of many physician and other health care provider practices and MUST PASS the House. However, Congressman Thomas Massie (KY-4) has indicated he will NOT VOTE in favor of the bill when the measure goes before the U.S. House for a vote. Even more concerning, Congressman Massie is considering a procedural move that could delay passage of the bill to Saturday or Sunday.
Call to Action
Please contact Representative Massie IMMEDIATELY to encourage him to VOTE YES for the CARES Act and provide much needed assistance to physician practices during these unprecedented times.
Northern Kentucky Office
Phone: (859) 426-0080
Fax: (859) 426-0061
Washington, DC Office
Phone: (202) 225-3465
District 4 constituents can use the Congressman’s web form for emails at: https://massieforms.house.gov/contact/.
Additional Telehealth Guides by Insurer
As telehealth policies are changed or relaxed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, KMA has provided resource guides to telehealth services for physicians. Additional telehealth information is available at kyma.org/covid19.
For the latest COVID-19 developments and resources, please visit kyma.org/covid19 or follow KMA on Twitter, @KYMedAssoc. Physicians are also encouraged to sign up for text alerts by texting “KMA” to 50457.