Earlier today, the Trump Administration announced temporary expanded Medicare telehealth coverage. The new declaration means that Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive an array of services through telehealth, including common office visits, mental health counseling and preventive health screenings.
Expanding telehealth benefits during COVID-19
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries across the entire country. This will help ensure that Medicare beneficiaries will be able to “visit” their doctor from their home, decreasing the risk of virus transmission that could occur at a doctor’s office or hospital.
“These changes allow seniors to communicate with their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility so that they can limit risk of exposure and spread of this virus,” said Administrator Seema Verma. “Clinicians on the frontlines will now have greater flexibility to safely treat our beneficiaries.”
A helping hand for Medicare beneficiaries
This telehealth expansion is crucial for beneficiaries that are at high risk of complications from COVID-19. Aside from virtual healthcare in their homes, these individuals will be able to receive telehealth services in any healthcare facility including a physician’s office, hospital, nursing home or rural health clinic.
Clinicians will be able to bill immediately for dates of service starting March 6, 2020. Telehealth services can be paid under the Physician Fee Schedule at the same amount as in-person services. Medicare coinsurance and deductible will still apply for these services.