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Last Friday, the Pa. Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs sent a notification regarding the temporary regulation waivers issued during the disaster declaration. It referenced that the end of the state emergency declaration may also mean the end of the many regulatory suspensions that have been effect during this time. The letter used telemedicine as an example, and understandably this has created significant confusion and concern among the providers licensed by OMHSAS. The example that was posed was as follows :
For example, if you are a medical practitioner using telemedicine for patient appointments, you may not be able to continue that practice when the temporary waiver no longer exists.
As we have noted throughout the public health emergency, some of the telehealth flexibilities may indeed end with the emergency declaration, and OMHSAS has the ability to allow the use and reimbursement of telehealth for the delivery of many services beyond the public health emergency. OMHSAS is continuing to prepare the Pa Behavioral Health – Telehealth Bulletin for release and public comment.
Kristen Houser, MPA, Deputy Secretary