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2020 to Bring New Opportunities for Telehealth

2020 will be a pivotal year in the expansion of telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries and those participating in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Medicare telehealth services became more accessible after the passage of the Chronic Care Act of 2017, which allowed certain Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions to use telehealth services. Medicare has since expanded the breadth of telehealth services and reimbursement. In 2020, MA plans will be able to follow suit and create a larger telehealth footprint.

Telehealth adoption is set to skyrocket
Starting January 1, MA plans will offer telehealth services as part of regular coverage for certain chronic conditions. According to the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, “90% of the nation’s $3.3 trillion in annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions.” Since private payers usually follow Medicare’s lead, the American public can expect to see online visits begin to roll-out with private payers. Telehealth will save patients, and commercial insurance, a significant amount of healthcare dollars.

According to a recent survey by a leading telehealth provider, physicians are ready to embrace virtual visits as well. Sixty-nine percent of the study expressed a willingness to see patients online. Perhaps a more striking report statistic is the rate of telehealth’s adoption among healthcare organizations. The telehealth adoption rate is up 340% since 2015. A good comparable for perspective is the rate of EHR adoption from 2003-2006, which saw a rise in use of 68%.

Telehealth makes good business sense

Online visits have the potential to improve patient health and the bottom line:

What services will be covered in 2020?

The list of Medicare telehealth services already comprises of codes for end-stage renal disease, evaluation visits, advanced care planning and some mental condition check-ins. For 2020, CMS has proposed additional codes for opioid treatment; however, the final details for the 2020 Medicare Fee Schedule should be published soon (usually at the beginning of November).Rectangle Health can help you offer payment plans and other convenient payment options to make health care more affordable.

Rectangle Health can help you integrate your patient payment systems into your billing workflow to increase efficiency and raise patient satisfaction. To learn more, contact us today!