On February 2, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill, S. 2484 (CONNECT for Health Act), to expand the scope of Medicare reimbursements for telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services. (An identical bill, H.R. 4442 was introduced in the House on February 3.)
If enacted, the bill would waive, for certain providers, existing statutory limitations on Medicare payments for telehealth and RPM services, including limitations based on the patient’s geographic location and on the type of health care provider. It would also permit substitution of telehealth and RPM services for in-person services in several circumstances (for example, permitting Medicare payment for RPM services for individuals with certain chronic health conditions and permitting telehealth to meet the monthly in-person visit requirement for certain home dialysis treatment). Finally, the bill would permit Medicare Advantage plans to use telehealth and RPM services to provide basic benefits under Medicare Part C.
Based on a report by Avalere Health, the bill’s sponsors claim that it would save the federal government $1.8 billion over 10 years. The bill has been endorsed by numerous organizations including AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Telemedicine Association.