Real-world evidence (RWE) and clinical trial data might seem to bear little resemblance to each other, but Naomi Aronson, executive director for clinical evaluation at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, said there are problems common to both. The most significant of these is an absence of validated outcomes measures for many conditions, measures Aronson said are “desperately” needed in order to make an appropriate coverage determination.
The support for permanent changes to Medicare coverage of telehealth has risen drastically in the months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but Krista Drobac of Sirona Strategies said on a July 23 webinar that stakeholders will have to help make the case that telehealth is cost effective. That cost effectiveness argument may be absolutely crucial if any of the related legislative proposals are to stand up to budget scoring in a time of skyrocketing U.S. budget deficits, she said.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) said that they will offer enforcement discretion for their respective final rules for electronic health records (EHRs), a nod to the COVID-19 pandemic.