Additional Telehealth Benefits In the Medicare Advantage Program
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a policy to include additional telehealth benefits in the Medicare Advantage Program. This policy would increase access to telehealth benefits for Medicare Advantage patients beginning in the 2020 plan year. Previously, Medicare beneficiaries were only allowed access to telehealth services if they resided in certain rural areas. This policy opens up telehealth services to beneficiaries in both rural and urban areas.
This policy is part of a recent effort to expand telehealth benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. In 2019, CMS introduced Brief Communication Technology-Based Services or Virtual Check In services, which describe a 5-10 minute communication between a physician or other qualified health care professional who can report evaluation and management (E/M) services provided to an established patient. More information about telehealth benefits can be found in the MLN Booklet: Telehealth Services.