Federal law cripples telehealth in Medicare. New bill changes that.
A bipartisan Senate bill unveiled recently would make it easier for patients enrolled in Medicare to receive telehealth services from physicians. There are statutory restrictions, such as geographic and originating-site requirements, that allow Medicare patients to get telehealth services only if they live in certain rural areas or get care from particular clinical sites. These restrictions create barriers and have contributed to the relatively low use of telehealth in Medicare, with just 0.25% of Medicare patients taking advantage of telehealth services.