Medicare managed care coverage for telehealth services, such as digitally connecting a patient at home to a doctor, is receiving a boost under a two-year spending bill, which became law Feb. 9.
Currently, Medicare pays only for certain telehealth services under Part B, normally in the form of face-to-face video conferencing. Under the new law, Medicare can pay for telehealth benefits, such as telemonitoring and medication therapy management, under private Medicare Advantage plans starting in 2020.
MA plans are currently allowed to provide telehealth services, other than those covered in the traditional Medicare program, but those additional services are not paid for separately by Medicare and plans must pay for them in other ways as a supplemental benefit.
The law also removes geographical limitations on Medicare reimbursement for stroke-related telehealth services, known as telestroke. Advocates say expanding access to telehealth would increase convenience and reduce medical costs, especially in rural areas, where doctors are few and far between.
Not everyone, however, has been supportive of expanding coverage for such services. Members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the main Medicare payment advisers to Congress, have cautioned that covering more telehealth services could lead to misuse and that such services might actually increase overall Medicare costs.
The ball is now in the Medicare agency’s court on when it decides to move and on what services should be covered.
Read my full article here.
Stay on top of new developments in health law and regulation, and learn more, by signing up for a free trial to Bloomberg Law.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)