Telehealth, the PHE, and the Omnibus: What happened? What’s next?

From Louis J. Wilson, MD, FACG, Chair, ACG Legislative and Public Policy Council

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (2023 CAA), otherwise known as the “omnibus” package, did not provide the relief we needed regarding the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule reimbursement. However, ACG advocacy helped successfully extend key telehealth flexibilities instituted during the federal government’s Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration through December 31, 2024. How did a federal government spending bill impact telehealth policy?

Omnibus: “to, for, by, with, or from everything”

Translated literally, the word omnibus in Latin means "to, for, by, with, or from everything." When Congress cannot pass spending or appropriations bills under “regular order,” the next step in the process is lumping everything together into one omnibus spending package that extends beyond just appropriations.

The 2023 CAA decoupled some telehealth policy waivers from the PHE. However, there are other telehealth policies that remain tied to the PHE and will expire without additional legislative and/or regulatory action. In January, the Biden Administration announced its intent to end the PHE on May 11, 2023.

What does this mean for ACG members and telehealth services? Click here to read my blogpost on the top telehealth issues impacting ACG members.

New ACG Membership Guidance: FDA Advisory Committees

From Eric D. Shah, MD, MBA, FACG, Chair, ACG FDA Related Matters Committee

New membership guidance on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Advisory Committees: Led by Harini Rathinamanickam, MD, Yasmin Hernandez-Barco, MD, and Young Oh, MD, MS, the latest guidance from the ACG FDA Related Matters Committee describes the important role advisory committees play in drug and device approvals. This manuscript also provides information on how ACG members can get involved as subject-matter experts. The FDA frequently asks the ACG for recommended experts. Click here to read this important manuscript.