A: The proposed rule includes a change in the definition of telehealth. Formerly, telehealth consisted of health care services provided by secure, synchronous, interactive, real-time electronic communication between the patient and the practitioner with both audio and video elements. Under the proposed rule, telehealth would now include health care services that are provided via a communication that is asynchronous or that does not have both audio and video elements, including telephone calls, remote patient monitoring, and communication through secure e-mail and patient portals. Under the previous rule, these activities were not considered telehealth.
The proposed rule also increases the types of practitioners eligible to render telehealth services to ODM patients. Additional eligible practitioners include dentists, optometrists, audiologists, and occupational and physical therapists.