Source : Medtech Insight
The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is increasing the number of telehealth services it will reimburse by 11 new services, the agency announced on 14 October. Among the new categories of services the CMS will cover are neurostimulator analysis and programming, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Among the 11 services the agency will now reimburse are telemedicine services for intensive cardiac rehabilitation with exercise (payment code G0422), pulmonary rehabilitation with exercise (G0424) and analysis of neurostimulator devices without programming (95970), according to an updated list it released on 14 October.
Medtech giants Medtronic and Boston Scientific – plus industry trade group AdvaMed – said in comments on the 2021 CMS physician fee schedule rule that they not only wanted these and similar telehealth services to be covered by the CMS during the pandemic, but also on a permanent basis. ()
“CMS is taking action to increase telehealth adoption across the country. This revolutionary method of improving access to care is transforming health care in America.” – Seema Verma
The CMS first announced in March that it was adding more coverage of telemedicine services so physicians and therapists could provide care to their patients remotely via audio and visual devices, or on audio channels only. ()
CMS administrator Seema Verma said on 14 October that she is expanding that effort, noting that the agency is “taking action to increase telehealth adoption across the country. This revolutionary method of improving access to care is transforming health care in America.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the CMS has added more than 135 services to Medicare telehealth services, including emergency department visits, initial inpatient and nursing facility visits, and discharge day management services.
The CMS also announced on 14 October that it’s releasing a preliminary Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) data snapshot on the programs’ telehealth use during the pandemic.
The snapshot shows, among other things, that more than 34.5 million services were delivered via telehealth to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries between March and June, representing an increase of more than 2,600% when compared to the same period in 2019. The Medicaid and CHIP data snapshot is available to the public.
By Sue Darcey