The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented a new rule that removes certain credentialing and privileging barriers for telemedicine. (Previously, Medicare participation required a hospital to go through the traditional credentialing and privileging process for each physician and practitioner who provides telemedicine services to the hospital's patients.)
The basic requirements of the new rule are:
1. The distant-site hospital must either be a Medicare participating hospital, or its credentialing and privileging process and standards must meet those in the Medicare conditions of participation.
2. A hospital where a patient is receiving telemedicine must have a written agreement with the distant-site hospital that specifies that the governing body of the distant-site hospital is required to meet the Medicare conditions of participation with regard to the credentialing and privileging of the distant-site hospital's physicians and practitioners.
3. The physician and practitioner providing the telemedicine must be privileged at the distant-site hospital.
4. The physician and practitioner providing the telemedicine must hold a license issued or recognized by the state in which the patients receiving the telemedicine services are located.
5. The hospital where a patient is receiving telemedicine must keep a record of the telemedicine services provided, and provide the internal review of such services to the distant-site hospital for use in its periodic appraisal of the physician and practitioner.