COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

More questions? Email communications@cmadocs.org.

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Do physicians need to be credentialed by a hospital in order to provide telehealth services to the hospital’s patients?

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In general, Medicare conditions of participation require a hospital to have an organized medical staff that is responsible for credentialing all members of the medical staff. When telehealth services are provided to a hospital’s patients by a distant-site hospital or telemedicine entity, the governing body of the hospital, instead of requiring the normal credentialing process, may allow its medical staff to rely on privileging decisions made by the distant site entity, provided that there is a written agreement and certain minimum requirements are met. 42 CFR § 482.22. However, during the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a blanket waiver of these requirements. (For more information, see the CMS fact sheet.)  )

Under California law, hospital medical staffs have broad authority to credential and privilege distant-site telehealth providers and should follow the credentialing verification standards and procedures for telehealth providers participating in Medicare (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2290.5(i)(1)). However, requirements for hospitals to credential and privilege physicians have been waived by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) until June 30, 2020. (See All Facilities Letter 20-26.)Medical staffs should determine whether it is appropriate to suspend these requirements and if alternate measures should be implemented in the interim.

| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth | Return

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