AHA asks CMS to stop telehealth rule

The American Hospital Association is asking CMS to stop a pending requirement that healthcare providers list their addresses if they're providing telehealth from their homes.

During the pandemic's public health emergency, CMS removed a rule that clinicians delivering telemedicine from their homes list their addresses on enrollment and claims forms. But that flexibility is scheduled to end Dec. 31.

"Requiring providers to list their personal home addresses on enrollment and claims forms, to which patients or others in the public have access, poses privacy and safety risks. This is a particular concern to us given the increased incidence in violence against healthcare workers," wrote Ashley Thompson, senior vice president of public policy analysis and development for the AHA, in an Oct. 4 letter to CMS. "At a minimum, CMS must implement a mechanism to automatically mask the home address from any public sites and directories."

The AHA also said the rule could also hurt workforce retention, as providers could shy away from wanting to provide telehealth from home, and places an undue administrative burden on hospitals and health systems, which would have to track and update home addresses on enrollment forms and update their billing software and EHRs to add providers' homes as sites of care.

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