The COVID-19 pandemic spurred both federal and state lawmakers to relax restrictions on the use of telehealth to ensure that patients would be able to maintain access to necessary health-care services in a safe and effective manner. Now that effective vaccines and treatments are readily available, these same lawmakers are starting to discuss whether these telehealth flexibilities should be retracted or removed in whole or in part. Early evidence indicates a high degree of overall patient satisfaction and a decline in no-show visits associated with telehealth visits (Drerep, 2021). However, policy makers are somewhat reluctant to make more permanent changes until they attain more conclusive data that telehealth does not lead to a spike in use or lead to increased costs or fraud (Joy, 2022). The Federal Front: Medicare and Tele-Audiology Services The COVID-19 public-health emergency (PHE) declaration ended on July 14, 2022. Earlier in the year, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 to ensure a 151-day extension period (or approximately five additional months) for many of the policies outlined in the COVID-19 PHE, to allow for a transition period. This act also extends the Medicare telehealth flexibilities for audiology that were in place throughout the PHE. Review the Academy resource for additional detail on the audiology codes available for billing to Medicare during this extension (American Academy of Audiology, 2021). The CY2023 proposed Physician Fee Schedule would potentially extend the use of these same audiology codes that were available during the PHE and the five-month extension period. The proposed fee schedule states that CMS indicates it has received information that, during the PHE, some practitioners developed the capacity to perform these services using remote technology, including specialized equipment inside an audiometric soundproof booth. CMS suggests that, in circumstances in which such equipment is available at the originating site, these services can be furnished in a way in which all of the elements of the services are met and that there is likely to be a clinical benefit when these services are furnished via telehealth. CMS proposes to add these services to the Medicare Telehealth Services List on a Category 3 basis, which would allow these services to be available via telehealth through the end of CY 2023. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!