A proposed CMS rule would streamline the credentialing and privileging process for hospitals wishing to contract with doctors and other practitioners for telemedicine services.
Under current CMS rules, hospitals are required to undergo a credentialing and privileging process for each practitioner contracted to provide telemedicine services, even though the practitioner has already undergone a duplicative review at their base hospital. The process, according to CMS officials, creates an undue burden on hospitals, especially small, rural providers.
The proposed rule, published in today's Federal Register, would allow hospitals to accept the credentialing and privileging decision of the distant-site facility with which it contracts to provide telemedicine services. The agreement must specify that the distant-site hospital is responsible for meeting the credentialing requirements. The proposed rule also stipulates that a distant-site hospital offering physicians for telemedicine services be a Medicare-participating hospital, that the doctors being offered to provide telemedicine services have privileges at the distant-site facility and that the doctors be licensed in the state where the distant-site hospital is located.
The CMS seeks comments on the proposed rule through July 26.