Medicare takes another step toward telehealth

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | December 3, 2013

Medicare is expanding coverage for telehealth consults next year, as part of a gradual embrace of the technology that mobile and remote healthcare advocates have been hoping to accelerate.

In Medicare’s 2014 physician fee schedule, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services outlined several new telehealth services and service regions that will be reimbursed by the federal government.

CMS is expanding the geographic areas where Medicare will cover telehealth from strictly-defined rural areas, in counties that are not part of a metropolitan statistical area, to rural areas defined by the Office of Rural Health Policy — basically expanding coverage into “the fringes of metropolitan areas,” as the American Telemedicine Association said.