As we flip our calendar to October, the weather across the Midwest is getting cooler, and we are expecting our first frost any day. Also, as if 2020 hasn’t been a crazy enough year, in October we will have 2 full moons. The first was on October 1st, and the second one will be a full Hunter’s Moon on October 31st! The second full moon in any given month is called a Blue Moon. If you’re not familiar with the terms ‘harvest moon’, ‘hunter’s moon’, or ‘blue moon’, check out this article on the Farmer’s Almanac website.
So, you may be asking yourself, ‘What do moons have to do with telemedicine?’ I’m glad you asked. These blue moon are fairly rare – only once about every 30 months. And this current COVID-19 pandemic that we are living through is most often compared to the 1918 influenza pandemic. While the pandemic is much rarer than the blue moon, it has definitely be a rare year for the record books.
With the closing of the comment cycle for the CMS 2021 physician fee schedule closes this month on October 5th, we will have to wait until December (if this year follows a normal pattern) to see the final fee schedule for 2021. There are a multitude of state and federal lawmakers working on a plethora of bills regarding telemedicine reimbursement, expansion of originating sites, expansion of provider types, and possibly new communication technology-based services and audio-only services. Only time will tell. In the meantime, we here at the UMTRC wish you a happy October, and a Happy Halloween.