The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) convened a session further discussing the Commission’s views on expanding access to telehealth in Medicare following the COVID-19 pandemic. MedPAC staff outlined a series of policy options for the Commissioners to consider as they begin work to finalize a set of recommendations to Congress. Overall, Commissioners appeared largely in favor of broadly expanding access to telehealth, though many prefaced this support with the recognition that more data was needed before making certain definitive decisions. Despite this, however, Commissioners generally aligned around the following contentions:
- Telehealth should be reimbursed at a lower rate than in-person services;
- Some services should not be coverable via telehealth and should remain face-to-face services;
- Some reform is required for “incident to” billing requirements;
- Telehealth should include some degree of cost-sharing;
- Access to audio-only services should be preserved; and
- Certain guardrails will be required to prevent overuse of telehealth services (e.g., a cap on how many telehealth services a provider can furnish in a given time period).