Expanded coverage of telehealth

The recently enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 expands Medicare’s coverage for telehealth services in several ways. Inclusion of these provisions, which had been part of a Senate bill called the CHRONIC Care Act, is another indication of Congress’ interest in expanding the use of alternative care delivery models and using technology to help rein in health care costs, particularly for the growing number of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions who would benefit from better care coordination. While the sophistication and number of technologies available for providing telehealth have increased dramatically in recent years, growth in the actual use of telehealth services has been hampered by limited reimbursement and Medicare’s restrictions on the geographic areas and care settings in which it is covered.

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