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Medicare and Telehealth
November 12, 2021
Agency

Medicare and Telehealth

Doctor on Telehealth call

Medicare telehealth services include office visits, psychotherapy, consultations and other health services conducted by the provider via phone, computer, or other audio/video device. These services allow patients to receive care without visiting the provider in person. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress and the Department of Health & Human Services expanded access to telehealth services and enhanced the ability of providers to offer telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries by not enforcing the requirement for established patient-provider relationships as a prerequisite to telehealth.

From March 2020 through December 2020, 26 million Medicare beneficiaries received at least one telehealth service. 84% of these beneficiaries received their telehealth services only from providers they already had an established relationship with. You can learn more about these statistics at https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/OEI-02-20-00521.pdf.

Other changes Medicare made to telehealth in 2020 include:

        Allowing telehealth services at renal dialysis facilities and at home

        Allowing telehealth services for certain emergency department visits at home

        Allowing certain physical and occupational therapy services at home

        Coverage for some services delivered via audio only devices

        Coverage for virtual check-ins and E-visits

To learn more about Medicare coverage for telehealth services, visit https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/telehealth.

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