Medicare “Telehealth for All” is the right response to the Coronavirus

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Telehealth Video Visits are now available to any Medicare beneficiary, from the comfort of their own homes, regardless of where they live.

This is the latest response from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) to control the spread of COVID-19 and enable Medicare beneficiaries to receive the care they need without exposing themselves or others to the virus.

According to CMS, “Medicare beneficiaries will be able to receive various services through telehealth including common office visits, mental health counseling, and preventive health screenings. This will help ensure Medicare beneficiaries, who are at a higher risk for COVID-19, are able to visit with their doctor from their home, without having to go to a doctor’s office or hospital which puts themselves or others at risk. This change broadens telehealth flexibility without regard to the diagnosis of the beneficiary, because at this critical point it is important to ensure beneficiaries are following guidance from the CDC including practicing social distancing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This change will help prevent vulnerable beneficiaries from unnecessarily entering a healthcare facility when their needs can be met remotely.”

Read the entire CMS statement here: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/president-trump-expands-telehealth-benefits-medicare-beneficiaries-during-covid-19-outbreak.

Fact Sheet: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet

This applies to video visits and telephonic communications using smart phones, and even provider portals to share information between the patient and provider. The reason for care does not have to be coronavirus related. In addition, CMS is relaxing enforcement of certain regulations related to HIPAA compliance.

If you are interested in using telehealth to care for your Medicare patients, contact us.

 

 

 

 

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