CMS Expands Medicare Coverage for Telehealth Services
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, providers and patients around the country have realized the benefits of telehealth services. Using a secure telehealth platform, patients can connect with providers and specialists without stepping foot in a medical facility. This not only helps stop the spread of disease, but it also makes medical care more accessible to patients in rural and remote areas.
As telehealth becomes more common during the Public Health Emergency (PHE), many healthcare providers and behavioral specialists are switching to virtual visits using secure telemedicine software. While this provides numerous benefits, many worry about telehealth service reimbursement. Until recently, Medicare patients had very little to no coverage for telehealth services.
CMS Releases New Telehealth Codes & Toolkit
Prior to the CARES Act, there was no legislative authority for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to pay clinics for telehealth services. Fortunately, CMS expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services during the PHE.
Medicare coverage for telehealth services has continued to expand over the past few months. Recently, the CMS added eleven new codes to the list of telehealth services covered by Medicare. Although this expansion is only valid during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states are considering making these changes permanent.
The new CMS codes include Medicare coverage for cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services as well as electronic analysis of certain implanted devices, demonstrating the growing importance of technology in the healthcare industry.
In addition to the newly added codes, the CMS also released a new supplement to its State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit that provides valuable insights and policy suggestions. The CMS hopes the Toolkit will help policymakers determine which changes to telehealth to make permanent once the PHE ends.
Benefits of Telehealth Services
Since the start of the pandemic, numerous healthcare providers have implemented telehealth solutions into their practice. While telemedicine provides significant benefits during a pandemic, providers and patients have started realizing the benefits these services offer outside of preventing the spread of disease. Telehealth provides a convenient and flexible option for patients. For seniors who no longer drive, telehealth improves access to healthcare. For providers, telehealth allows for more visits in less time. It improves outcomes for patients and allows for regular monitoring of a variety of chronic and acute conditions.
HIPAA-Compliant Telemedicine Solutions
Providers looking to offer telehealth services must take care to ensure the protection of personal health information (PHI). Although recent changes allow providers to use video conferencing software like Zoom to conduct virtual visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a secure telehealth platform ensures HIPAA compliance.
Let’s Talk Interactive offers telemedicine solutions for healthcare providers. In addition to HIPAA-compliant telehealth software, Let’s Talk Interactive also offers telemedicine carts and telehealth kiosks. We work directly with our clients to evaluate their needs and develop a comprehensive solution.
Please contact us for information about our telemedicine solutions.
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