US HHS reforms laws to allow further integration of telemedicine

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two final rules that aim to reduce regulatory barriers to care co-ordination and accelerate the use of virtual healthcare tools. The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIS) issued the final rule for Revision to the Safe Harbors Under the Anti-Kickback Statute and Civil Monetary Penalty Rules Regarding Beneficiary Inducements, while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule for Modernizing and Clarifying the Physician Self-Referral Regulations. These rules are part of the HHS’ efforts to remove regulatory barriers that impede healthcare providers from advancing the transition to value-based care. HHS Secretary Alex Azar commented that the regulation reform will translate into better care, including innovative utilisation of digital technology that may help patients receive care during the pandemic.