The Biden Administration announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will end on May 11, 2023. The following timeline depicts the when and how telehealth policies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic will wind-down at the end of the public health emergency (PHE) declaration.
These policy provisions are accurate as of the publication date: March 13, 2023, and can change at any time. State, local, and private actions may affect the policies and requirements in your practice.
January 30, 2023
- White House announced that the COVID-19 PHE will end on May 11, 2023.
May 11, 2023
- End of the Public Health Emergency Declaration.
May 12, 2023
- Requirements back in place around virtual prescribing of controlled substances. Practitioners will need to have seen a patient in person at least once before issuing a prescription for a controlled substance. Learn more on virtual controlled substance prescribing here.
- RPM services for Medicare once again restricted to established patients, requiring a new patient E/M visit before billing for RPM.
- Practitioners will once again need to use HIPAA-compliant communications software.
- Practitioners must be licensed in every state they are providing services to bill Medicare (note that most state PHEs have already expired and most state-based licensure requirements are back in place).
October 10, 2023
(151 Days after end of PHE)
- Medicare coding for audio-only telehealth services transitions from telephone codes to E/M + audio modifiers.
November 7, 2023
(180 Days after end of PHE)
- Requirements around in-person visits for the prescription of controlled substances resume for any patients that established a controlled substances prescription via telehealth during the PHE.
January 1, 2024
- Telehealth services in Medicare receive the lower facility fee rather than the higher non-facility fee that they have received throughout the PHE.
- Virtual direct supervision in Medicare expires, but behavioral health clinicians can be supervised under general supervision on a permanent basis and general supervision can be virtual on a permanent basis.
January 1, 2025
- Extended Medicare flexibilities passed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, expire:
- Required initial in-person exam prior to telemental health comes into effect.
- Required annual in-person visit for the provision of telemental health comes into effect, subject to exception based on clinical decision-making.
- Audio-only provision of mental health services in Medicare.
- The patient’s home as an acceptable originating site in Medicare.
- General supervision for behavioral health clinicians and virtual general supervision in Medicare.