The Centers for Medicare (CMS) Pave the Way for Telehealth Services Expansion to its Subscribers and Possibly Telemedicine Itself
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that they have implemented Section 50323 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The act encourages CMS to expand Medicare’s use of telehealth benefits to its policy holders as part of the government-funded basic benefits.
What does this mean for hospitals? Well, roughly over 23 million patients are on the Medicare Advantage program. Each of these patients will now be allowed access to the telemedicine services that a hospital may provide. Due to the ongoing problem of shortage of physicians, telemedicine has already been a huge time and cost-saving benefit for those who have embraced services like the ones provided by TeleSpecialists.
By enabling a telemedicine benefit, CMS has allowed hospitals to service patients who may have, in the past, been turned away or transferred out due to insurance restrictions. In addition, as history has shown us, when Medicare makes big changes, the big commercial insurance carriers often follow suit, furthering the opportunity for growth in both hospitals and their hospitalists.
The CMS didn’t just catch wind of the invaluable services telemedicine offers. In the past, they were allowing Medicare Advantage patients to take advantage of these services as long as they lived in a rural area. Hospitals should keep in mind that the new act will not end or replace in-person coverage; it’s simply in place to provide patients with access to our ever-evolving medical technology avenues in health care.
Does your hospital have a TeleStroke or TeleNeuroHospitalist program in place? For more information contact us at 1-866-785-7769 or send us an email info@TSTeleMed.com