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On December 23, the U.S. Congress passed the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023,” the omnibus budget bill for fiscal year 2023 (HR 2617). The bill includes several provisions relating to Medicare coverage of telehealth, including extending some of the flexibilities that became effective at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The budget bill for fiscal year 2022, discussed here, had provided that the flexibilities would continue for 151 days after the end of the current public health emergency. However, HR 2617 extends the following flexibilities until December 31, 2024: 

o          temporary suspension of the geographic site requirement,

o          continuing to permit a patient’s home to be an eligible originating site,

o          allowing certain providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics, to continue to be eligible telehealth providers,

o          delaying the in-person behavioral health visit requirement for services to patients who are not in a geographically eligible location or at home, and

o          continuing to allow Medicare coverage for some audio-only telehealth services.

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