With permanent Medicare coverage, telehealth is here to stay

May 10, 2021 ABILITY

Is your healthcare organization ready for the virtual revolution? Last year, the healthcare market widely embraced telehealth services to help patients who were quarantining and practicing social distancing. Many practices, however, viewed virtual appointments as a stop-gap to help provide continuous care through the pandemic. As a result, a lot of healthcare organizations have been using legacy conferencing technology and other outdated solutions.

Let’s explore three indicators that telehealth is here to stay: Medicare reimbursements, patient demand and telehealth technology that does more for patients and providers.

Medicare makes telehealth reimbursements permanent

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has confirmed that Medicare will continue to reimburse for 45% of currently covered telehealth services permanently. According to CMS, these services include, “standard evaluation and management visits, group psychotherapy, neurobehavioral status exams, and short home visits.”1

This isn’t the first time CMS has acknowledged the longevity of telehealth services across healthcare markets. Former CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, “I think the genie’s out of the bottle … it’s fair to say that the advent of telehealth has been just completely accelerated, that it’s taken this crisis to push us to a new frontier, but there’s absolutely no going back.”2 Continued, permanent Medicare coverage for most telehealth appointments and services is a strong indicator that telehealth will continue to grow.

Patients want expanded telehealth appointments

Beyond reimbursements, there’s a significant demand from patients for continued virtual services. In a recent study, 71% of patients reported that they’d consider telehealth appointments with their existing provider – and more than 50% said they’d see a new provider who offered telehealth services.3

Patients are primed for virtual appointments and online scheduling – making now the perfect time to evaluate your telehealth platform. Does it provide HIPAA-compliant telehealth services, or have you been relying on a stop-gap solution that isn’t designed specifically for patients’ privacy needs? Can you easily add attendees on the fly, conduct group visits and share screens?

Discover telehealth that does more

From permanent Medicare reimbursements to patient demand, telehealth is here to stay. The right telehealth technology can help you serve more patients without overburdening providers and staff. By using the ABILITY Virtual Care application, for example, you can ensure security and privacy for patients while streamlining scheduling tasks. This innovative software allows group visits and screen sharing to enhance the patient experience. Plus, capabilities to add attendees on the fly can save time and reduce missed appointments.

Discover telehealth that does more – for you and your patients. Schedule a demo of ABILITY Virtual Care today.

 

1. “CMS Finalizes Meaningful Expansions of Medicare Telehealth Service Coverage Through 2021,” Kristin Allen, CMS, December 14, 2020, https://www.healthmanagement.com/blog/cms-finalizes-meaningful-expansions-of-medicare-telehealth-service-coverage-through-2021/

2. “’The genie’s out of the bottle on this one’: Seema Verma hints at the future of telehealth for CMS beneficiaries,’ Laura Dyrda, Beckers Hospital Review, June 3, 2020, https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/telehealth/the-genie-s-out-of-the-bottle-on-this-one-seema-verma-hints-at-the-future-of-telehealth-for-cms-beneficiaries.html

3. “Four new statistics that prove that telemedicine isn’t just a pandemic fad,” Andrei Zimiles, Medical Economics, July 8, 2020. Accessed March 3, 2021 at https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/four-new-statistics-that-prove-that-telemedicine-isn-t-just-a-pandemic-fad

ABILITY and design® and ABILITY® are trademarks of ABILITY Network, Inc.

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