Medicare Proposes to Extend Coverage of Certain Telehealth Visits Through the End of 2023
The proposed Medicare 2022 Physician Fee Schedule makes a number of changes to Medicare coverage of telehealth, including a proposal to retain all the services added to the Medicare telehealth list on a Category 3 basis until the end of calendar year 2023. (As a reminder, Category 3 is for those services that were added during the COVID-19 public health emergency, but where there is not yet sufficient evidence of clinical benefit when delivered virtually.) The list published in the proposed rule includes the evaluation and management codes for patients in these settings: acute care hospital, observation unit, domiciliary or rest home, and the patient’s home (specifically, codes 99341 – 99345). The full list of currently allowable telehealth services can be found here.
The time extension allows both providers and consumers to continue using and evaluating care delivered via telehealth – a “glide path” as officials call it – while Medicare gathers and considers evidence of clinical benefit. The 2022 proposed rule also includes coverage of certain audio-only mental health care, as well as changes to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, the Medicare Shared Savings Program, and more. The fact sheet on the entire 2022 proposed rule can be found here.