On December 23, 2022, US Congress approved a year-end omnibus legislative package, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (CAA 2023), which consists of all 12 fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills and numerous other provisions, including health policy changes. The healthcare provisions in this omnibus package extend key Medicare telehealth flexibilities and the temporary telehealth safe harbor for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) first-dollar coverage.
The passing of the omnibus package presents a victory for industry advocates that have sought to extend the COVID-19 Medicare flexibilities and the HDHP safe harbor. The Medicare provisions will continue the flexibilities for providers and, coupled with the HDHP safe harbor, will enable beneficiaries to access expanded healthcare options through telehealth services. However, as the COVID-19 flexibilities and HDHP safe harbor are extended on a temporary basis through December 31, 2024, stakeholders will need to continue to engage with Congress on a more permanent solution.