PUBLIC LAW 108–173—DEC. 8, 2003 SEC.
117 STAT. 2283
REPORT ON DEMONSTRATION PROJECT PERMITTING SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES TO BE ORIGINATING TELEHEALTH SITES; AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT.
(a) EVALUATION.—The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration in consultation with the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, shall evaluate demonstration projects conducted by the Secretary under which skilled nursing facilities (as defined in section 1819(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i– 3(a)) are treated as originating sites for telehealth services. (b) REPORT.—Not later than January 1, 2005, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the evaluation conducted under subsection (a). Such report shall include recommendations on mechanisms to ensure that permitting a skilled nursing facility to serve as an originating site for the use of telehealth services or any other service delivered via a telecommunications system does not serve as a substitute for in-person visits furnished by a physician, or for in-person visits furnished by a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, as is otherwise required by the Secretary. (c) AUTHORITY TO EXPAND ORIGINATING TELEHEALTH SITES TO INCLUDE SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES.—Insofar as the Secretary concludes in the report required under subsection (b) that it is advisable to permit a skilled nursing facility to be an originating site for telehealth services under section 1834(m) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395m(m)), and that the Secretary can establish the mechanisms to ensure such permission does not serve as a substitute for in-person visits furnished by a physician, or for in-person visits furnished by a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, the Secretary may deem a skilled nursing facility to be an originating site under paragraph (4)(C)(ii) of such section beginning on January 1, 2006.
42 USC 1395m note.
Subtitle C—Provisions Relating to Parts A and B SEC. 421. ONE-YEAR INCREASE FOR HOME HEALTH SERVICES FURNISHED IN A RURAL AREA.
42 USC 1395fff note.
(a) IN GENERAL.—With respect to episodes and visits ending on or after April 1, 2004, and before April 1, 2005, in the case of home health services furnished in a rural area (as defined in section 1886(d)(2)(D) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(2)(D))), the Secretary shall increase the payment amount otherwise made under section 1895 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395fff ) for such services by 5 percent. (b) WAIVING BUDGET NEUTRALITY.—The Secretary shall not reduce the standard prospective payment amount (or amounts) under section 1895 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395fff ) applicable to home health services furnished during a period to offset the increase in payments resulting from the application of subsection (a). (c) NO EFFECT ON SUBSEQUENT PERIODS.—The payment increase provided under subsection (a) for a period under such subsection—
13:59 Aug 30, 2004