Medicare Advantage Enrollees May Have More Access to Telehealth Services
April 17, 2019
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule updating the Medicare Advantage program to allow for innovative plan design and more choices for patients. The popularity of Medicare Advantage plans has been on the rise and new flexibilities, including additional telehealth and nontraditional benefits will likely continue this trend.
While Medicare Advantage plans have historically been able to offer some telehealth services as part of their supplemental benefit package, this rule creates additional flexibilities in offering enrollees access to telehealth services, including from the convenience of their own homes rather than a health care facility beginning in 2020.
Many policies finalized in the rule are a result of the new authorities provided to CMS in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Between 2010 and 2017, the number of U.S. hospitals utilizing telemedicine increased rapidly, from 35 percent to 76 percent.1 Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws governing private insurers reimbursement policy.
HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals continue to advocate for telemedicine as a tool for providers and consumers, encouraging Pennsylvania’s insurance community to include telemedicine in its coverage options to help increase the access to and use of telemedicine.
For more information, contact Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy or Kate Slatt, HAP’s senior director, innovative payment and care delivery.
1 State Telehealth Laws & Reimbursement Policies: A Comprehensive Scan of the 50 States and the District of Columbia. Center for Connected Health Policy. Fall 2018.
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