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Capitol Correspondence - 06.22.21

KFF Resources: Appendix K Tracker and Telehealth Analysis

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To help our members comply with federal policies and stay abreast of developments in policy conversations surrounding telehealth, we share two resources from the Kaiser Family Foundation below. ANCOR has been advocating to make permanent telehealth flexibilities that were initially established in response to the pandemic.

A COVID-19 emergency waiver tracker, including Appendix K: Our members navigate several layers of waivers through which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services granted additional flexibilities to help providers support people with disabilities within the new realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the flexibilities relevant to our members are governed by Appendix K waivers, we recommend that our members look at recent changes to state plan amendments in case any are relevant to disability supports. There is a dropdown menu on the page to select different types of waivers to see changes on a map.

An article on the policy tipping point on telehealth: “Perhaps the most contentious issue facing politicians, insurers and hospitals is how much a telehealth visit is worth in a system that is already breaking the bank. While Medicare and other insurers fueled the explosion of telehealth over the past year by paying the same rates as for in-person visits, many are expected to push for lower prices when the federally designated public health crisis ends. At the same time, physicians and hospitals are looking to maintain income. […] For now, tens of millions of Americans have gotten used to meeting their doctor on a laptop or smartphone, and pressure is building on the federal and state governments to loosen rules to preserve virtual visits after the health crisis ends.”