Medicare beneficiary use of telehealth services reached nearly 9 million as COVID-19 shut down on-site visits. Will the options be permanent?
Rural/urban Medicare beneficiaries. 22% of telehealth beneficiaries in rural areas used telehealth during that period, and 30% of urban beneficiaries sought virtual care.
Geographic telehealth use by Medicare beneficiaries. >35% in the Northeast, <17% in mountain states.
Most common connected health visit among Meidcare beneficiaries. Evaluation/management 5.8 mill beneficiaries; 38% of those visits conducted on a telemedicine platform.
Telementalhealth care among Medicare beneficiaries. 460,000 beneficiaries received telemental health care; 26% of beneficiaries received nursing home visits via telehealth.
Prevention visits among Medicare beneficiaries. 19% of 1.5 mill beneficiarieswho use preventive health services used telehealth.
Telephone used for telehealth among Medicare beneficiaries. More than 3 million beneficiaries accessed care through audio-only phone, ie, withthout a video platform. That equals ~1/3 of the total number using telehealth during this time.
Open questions for CMS dicussion. 1. Are telehealth services “safe and clinically appropriate” for patients. 2. Should Medicare reimburse for telehealth services at the same rate it does for in-person services? 3. What about potential fraudulent activities?