Lawmakers are lining up to decide what Medicare will pay for after the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) is over – and they are looking confident that they have the votes to include it in a must-pass piece of legislation this year.
Congress also seems to be on board with a plan to allow millions of Medicare patients to continue to video-chat with their physicians once the PHE is over. The Medicare advisory committee, MedPAC, has recommended a cautious approach, however, that would temporarily cover some telehealth services for all beneficiaries, but revert to lower reimbursement rates post-crisis for virtual appointments compared to in-person. There's also concern that a rapid expansion could prompt more fraudulent billings: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) estimates that $4.5 billion in telehealth-related fraud was lost last year, which is why Part B evaluation and management (E&M) services provided during the PHE is on the current OIG 2021 Work Plan.
Nationally recognized physician auditor, educator, and coder Terry Fletcher will report on this developing story during the next live edition of Talk Ten Tuesdays.
The live broadcast will also feature these other segments: