During the COVID-19 public health emergency, temporary Medicare waivers and rules let beneficiaries receive a wider range of health services from home, from a broader array of providers, and using more types of technology.
The recent expansion of Medicare-covered telehealth services helped beneficiaries and their families safely and responsibly obtain needed care during an unprecedented time – likely leading to improved outcomes and reduced transmission of the COVID-19 virus. We applaud these successes and understand the impulse to keep many of the underlying policies in place. However, doing so would risk reflexively locking in an unexamined expansion of services that was developed for and during a crisis. Instead, we urge Congress and the Administration to move forward deliberately. Any policy changes should be directly informed by the current experience with telehealth and made through existing legislative and regulatory processes that allow for public comment and stakeholder input.
While telehealth’s potential may not yet be fully realized, neither are its pitfalls. An intentional and aware approach to post-pandemic expansion is needed to safeguard and advance beneficiary health and well-being.
- WHO Issues Guidance on Sustaining Telemedicine Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic December 1, 2022
- New GAO Telehealth Report Recommends Strengthening Oversight and Additional Privacy and Security Risk Education October 13, 2022
- OIG Brief Identifies Which Medicare Beneficiaries Were More Likely to Use Telehealth During First Year of COVID-19 Pandemic September 21, 2022
- OIG Report: Telehealth Services Need Targeted Oversight to Safeguard Medicare September 14, 2022
- As Interstate Telehealth Emergency Licensure Waivers Expire, Study Examines Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries June 9, 2022
- Special Report: Telehealth and the Medicare Population: Building a Foundation for the Virtual Health Care Revolution May 26, 2022
- Report: Telehealth Use by Medicare Beneficiaries Increases Over 6,000% in 2020 December 9, 2021
- Studies Highlight Barriers to Health Equity: Access to Pharmacies & Telehealth May 13, 2021
- Speech Generating Devices: Beneficiary Voices Silenced Once Again by CMS January 28, 2021
- Study Finds Inequities in Telehealth Care January 21, 2021