Federal and state leaders have dramatically expanded access to telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Please find below top resources offered by the Alliance for Connected Care followed by some additional background information.
Secretary Azar used his authority under the Public Health Service Act to declare a public health emergency across the entire United States on January 31, 2020 giving HHS additional emergency powers to respond to the coronavirus. On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency, unlocking additional powers, under section 1135 of the Social Security Act.
Responding to the public health emergency, the governors of forty-eight states, including D.C. have waived – to varying extents – state licensure laws in order to facilitate cross-border care, sometimes explicitly including telehealth. In addition, several states have requested flexibility to incent greater use of telehealth through Medicaid Section 1135 Waivers. Some have also used powers granted under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact for telehealth.
Telehealth is defined as the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration. Technologies include video conferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.
Live (synchronous) videoconferencing: a two-way audiovisual link between a patient and a care provider
Store-and-forward (asynchronous) videoconferencing: transmission of recorded health history to a health practitioner, usually a specialist.
Remote patient monitoring (RPM): the use of connected electronic tools to record personal health and medical data in one location for review by a provider in another location, usually at a different time.
Mobile health (mHealth): health care and public health information provided through mobile devices. The information may include general educational information, targeted texts, and notifications about disease outbreaks.