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2024: The Year of the Telehealth Cliff

What does December 31, 2024, mean to you? New Year’s Eve? Post-2024 election? Too far away to know?

Our answer: December 31, 2024, is when we will go over a “telehealth cliff” if Congress fails to act before that date, directly impacting care and access for Medicare beneficiaries. What is this telehealth cliff?

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Omnibus Bill Extends Medicare Telehealth Flexibilities and HDHP Telehealth Safe Harbor

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.

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Healthcare Enforcement in the Post-Pandemic Era

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare fraud enforcement remains a top priority for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government agencies with enforcement authority. In this Westlaw Today article, McDermott Partners Laura McLane, Tony Maida and Dana M. McSherry describe some of the areas that have assumed particularly high enforcement priority, including private equity, telehealth and pandemic relief funds.

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