Extension of the Medicare IVIG Demonstration
Thank you to those who were part of the previous Congress for passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2020, which included the extension of the Medicare IVIG Demonstration. This will allow Medicare beneficiaries with PI to continue to receive their immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy at home without disruption through 2023. This benefit is critical to ensuring that individuals with PI can receive treatment at home rather than going to a hospital or infusion center where they can be exposed to a variety of pathogens. As the risks will continue beyond 2023, we believe it is essential that individuals with PI have a permanent Medicare benefit to receive IVIG in the home. IDF is currently providing information to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the rules surrounding coverage of home infusion that would allow IVIG medication, supplies and services provided in the home to be covered under the permanent DME benefit. IDF may be reaching out to legislative offices in the future for help with agency communication if roadblocks are encountered as we move forward.
Support legislation to remove barriers to telehealth services and ensure expanded access continues after the public health emergency ends.
Because individuals with PI are so susceptible to infections, the ability to receive healthcare services at home is invaluable. Many Americans have been able to experience the benefits of telehealth because of the policy changes that have been implemented during the public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those with PI being able to receive and have coverage for telehealth services will, in many cases, help them to avoid being exposed to infections. While private insurers have varying policies surrounding telehealth coverage, Medicare coverage policies strongly influence the development of private insurance coverage policies and practices. As such, we are urging legislators to support legislation that will remove barriers to telehealth services and will make permanent, expanded telehealth access and coverage within Medicare.
Specifically, we ask that legislators support the following legislation:
- Telehealth Modernization Act: S 368/HR 1332, which will make permanent certain telehealth flexibilities under the Medicare program allowed during the COVID-19 public health emergency including permanently lifting restrictions related to the geographic location of the patient when they receive telehealth services.
- Protecting Access to Post-COVID19 Telehealth Act: HR 366 which authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive or modify application of Medicare requirements with respect to telehealth services during future emergency periods and also eliminates the geographic restrictions and allows for telehealth by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).
- Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act: which has been introduced by the bipartisan House and Senate Telehealth Caucuses in previous Congresses and is likely to be introduced again.