“In the Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet published March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) broadened access to Medicare telehealth services to allow Medicare patients to receive more services from their doctors without travel to a health care facility. This benefit is available on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, to provide telemedicine services during the national emergency declared regarding COVID-19.”
“Before this new waiver, Medicare only paid for telehealth when the patient was in a designated rural area and left the home and went to a clinic, hospital or certain other types of medical facilities for the service. Now, Medicare can pay for office, hospital and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country including in patient’s places of residence, retroactive to March 6, 2020. A range of providers, such as doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists and licensed clinical social workers, will be able to offer telehealth to their patients. Additionally, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is providing flexibility for health care providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal health care programs.”
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