In March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allowed physicians and their patients to use audio-only technology to conduct telehealth visits in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. Yesterday, CMS went a step further by significantly increasing payments for audio-only telephone visits between Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians.
Payments for these services will nearly triple in some cases, increasing from about $14 to $41 per service to $46 to $110 per service. The payments are also retroactive to March 1, 2020.
The AMA worked with several members of Congress
to request this change, which it called “a major victory for medicine that will enable physicians to care for their patients, especially their elderly patients with chronic conditions who may not have access to audio-visual technology or high-speed internet.”