The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services will publish a proposed rule in the May 26 Federal Register that would revise the conditions of participation for hospitals and critical access hospitals. These revisions would allow for a new credentialing and privileging process for physicians and practitioners providing telemedicine services.
Under current CMS rules, a hospital whose patients receive telemedicine services from physicians at a “distant site” location are not allowed to rely on that site in making credentialing and privileging decisions, and must use their own time and resources to do so. This process can be burdensome to smaller hospitals that do not have the staff to privilege the hundreds of specialty practitioners that large academic medical centers make available to them.
“We recognize the advantages and benefits that telemedicine provides for patients and are interested in reducing the burden and the duplicative efforts of the traditional credentialing and privileging process for Medicare-participating hospitals,” CMS states in the proposal.
After publication, comments to the proposed rule will be considered for 60 days. Instructions for comments and the entirety of the proposal can be found at the Federal Register's website.