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New Bill Seeks Nationwide Medicare Coverage for Asynchronous Telehealth Services

By August 10, 2021No Comments

By Eric Wicklund

Source: mHealth Intelligence

A Montana Congressman has introduced a bill that would establish Medicare coverage for asynchronous (store-and-forward) telehealth services in all 50 states, expanding the possibilities for a platform that would improve rural access to care.

– A Montana Congressman wants to improve rural healthcare access by ensuring Medicare coverage for asynchronous (store-and-forward) telehealth programs throughout the country.

The Rural Telehealth Expansion Act, introduced last week by US Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), would lend credence to a platform that is growing in popularity, particularly in direct-to-consumer telehealth services. Asynchronous platforms allow the patient and provider to connect on their own time (rather than in real time), sharing images, data and messages in a secure portal.

The modality is especially valuable in rural and remote regions of the country where the broadband connectivity needed to conduct real-time audio-visual telehealth visits is unreliable or non-existent. Some states have moved to cover the modality in recent months, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services still limit Medicare coverage to Alaska and Hawaii.

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