When the pandemic hit, almost everything was thrown into disarray. Businesses were shut down, employees were forced to work from home, and medical offices had to adapt various new practices to safely see patients. Fortunately, modern technology has improved the quality of care when remote visits are the only option.
Telehealth is the practice of having doctor’s office visits, consultations, and other medical or health services that a doctor provides through real-time audio or video technology. Even without a worldwide pandemic, telehealth flexibilities give rural communities easy access to health care professionals no matter where they are.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to your Medicare coverage and telehealth services. Initially, Medicare only covered telehealth services if you lived in a “designated rural area.” However, in response to the public health emergency, the federal government allowed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand Medicare coverage in 2020.
Medicare Part B covers certain telehealth services. Generally, you’ll pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for your doctor’s services. The Part B deductible still applies. Most of the time, you’ll pay the same amount for telehealth services as you would to see a doctor in person (or at originating sites), but some healthcare providers are reducing the fee for service in this manner.
Even if you are not in a rural health care setting, you may also be eligible for Medicare telehealth services for renal dialysis facilities and at home. Certain emergency department visits can be conducted via telehealth and other physical and occupational therapy services are able to be provided at home, too.
It is important to remember to be on the lookout for telehealth fraud. If you get an alert from a provider that you don’t know or have never seen before requesting a telehealth visit, be on guard. They may try to offer you special incentives like cash payments or free prescription drugs to get your personal information.
Once they get that information, they could start billing Medicare for the services or items that you never requested. If this happens, it can be a real headache, so if you suspect fraud, call the Medicare office immediately.
Do you want to learn more about what telehealth services include and determine what you’re eligible for? Contact our experienced team of Medicare professionals at Guided Medicare today. We can help answer your questions and will ensure you have the details you need to get the quality medical care you need and deserve.