Is Telemedicine Here to Stay?
Senior Policy Advisor Miranda Franco was cited in a New York Times article about the future of telemedicine. Over the last few months, millions of people have relied on video or telephone calls to talk to their doctors. But as the coronavirus pandemic moves across the United States, and eventually recedes in some places, how long will the moment last? The answer largely depends on whether Medicare and private health insurers will adequately cover virtual doctor visits once coronavirus outbreaks subside. Many in Congress are already convinced that Medicare should continue the current coverage.
Since May, nearly 20 telemedicine bills have been brought to the House floor and about the same number in the Senate, said Ms. Franco. She thinks legislation will be passed by the end of the year. While some lawmakers favor permanently expanding Medicare payment for a broad range of telemedicine services, others are concerned about the technology’s cost and potential for fraud. “Now you’re talking about reimbursing services we haven’t reimbursed before,” Ms. Franco said.