Skip to content Skip to navigation

Telemedicine Coverage Dropped for Medicare Beneficiaries in 36 States and Territories

March 28, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

According to a press release from the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), Medicare beneficiaries in 97 counties, across 36 states and territories, will lose telemedicine benefits because of the updated federal delineations of Standards Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs). The SMSAs are federal urban/rural categorizations which, the ATA says, revokes the option for Medicare recipients to receive healthcare services via videoconferencing.

The SMSA adjustments have added designate 28 additional counties as “non-metropolitan,” which allows those residents to qualify for telemedicine. However since telemedicine isn’t covered in metropolitan areas, where more than 80 percent of all Medicare recipients live, the new adjustments are also an increase in the total amount of people that are prohibited from the benefits of telemedicine.

”When it comes to telemedicine, Congress has long overlooked the need for telemedicine services to residents of urban counties, despite the fact that they often suffer similar problems accessing healthcare. Now, because of a statistical quirk, even more people will lose coverage of these services, reducing access and care,” Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association, said in a statement. “Medicare should cover remote health services for all beneficiaries, regardless of location. We call on Congress to ensure that existing beneficiaries will not lose coverage for these services.”

The effort to increase rural telemedicine coverage was the recent focus of Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD). The pair of senators introduced legislation which they hope can create pilot programs that will provide incentives to home health agencies across the country to use remote patient monitoring (RPM).

The list of counties that will lose these benefits can be found here.

Topics

News

Cerner Awarded $50.7m DoD Data Hosting Contract

February 11, 2016
The Kansas City-based Cerner Corp. has been awarded a $50.7 million sole source data hosting add-on to the massive Department of Defense Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) electronic health record (EHR) contract that it won last year.

Proposed 2017 Federal Budget Includes $82M for ONC, $51M for Healthcare Cybersecurity

February 10, 2016
President Barack Obama this week presented his last budget proposal to Congress for fiscal year 2017 and it includes a $22 million funding boost for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to support health IT interoperability programs and $51 million for healthcare cybersecurity efforts.

Obama Administration Asks Congress for $1.8B in Emergency Zika Virus Funding

February 9, 2016
The White House this week requested Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to enhance ongoing efforts to prepare for and respond to the Zika virus, both domestically and internationally.

Senate HELP Committee Passes Health IT Bill

February 9, 2016
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today unanimously passed the Improving Health Information Technology Act as well as six other biomedical innovation bills with bipartisan support.

Lincare to Pay $240K in Civil Penalties for HIPAA Privacy Rule Violation

February 9, 2016
Lincare, a provider of respiratory and infusion therapy and medical equipment to in-home patients, has been ordered to pay $239,800 in civil money penalties for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule.

WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital Receives Stage 7 Award

February 8, 2016
York, Pa.-based WellSpan Surgery and Rehabilitation Hospital has reached Stage 7 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), developed by HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

ONC Addresses HIPAA's Role in Interoperability

February 8, 2016
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides many pathways for permissibly exchanging Protected Health Information (PHI), the Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) says in a recent blog post and fact sheet.

HHS Proposes to Modernize Privacy Rules on Substance Abuse Records

February 5, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) today announced proposed revisions to the privacy rules governing substance abuse medical records to facilitate health information exchange in support of delivery system reform.

Study: Clinical Analytics Functionality Improves, but Workflow Integration is an Ongoing Challenge

February 5, 2016
The development of robust data analytics capabilities that can provide comprehensive solutions for population health management is still likely several years away, but analytics vendors are rapidly improving technologies, a Chilmark Research study report says.

Nebraska Medicine Receives Stage 7 Recognition

February 3, 2016
Nebraska Medicine has reached Stage 7 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), developed by HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Sen. Lamar Alexander Urges HHS to Leverage Tools to Help Combat Zika Virus

February 3, 2016
Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), well known in health IT circles, has written a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Sylvia Mathews Burwell expressing concern about the rapidly spreading Zika virus.

New Legislation Introduced to Expand Use of Telehealth Under Medicare

February 3, 2016
Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would expand the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) services under Medicare with the goal of cost savings and quality care.

IDC Report: Providers’ IT Budgets are Growing in Post-EHR Era

February 3, 2016
While 40 percent of healthcare providers reported that their IT budgets are still growing, only 25 percent that reported growing budgets attribute growth to electronic health records (EHRs), providing evidence that the post-EHR era is upon us, according to a new IDC Health Insights report.

CMS Issues Guidance on MU Hardship Exemption Process, Extends Comment Period on Quality Reporting

February 2, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance to the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program hardship exemption process, specifically clarifying that providers are not required to submit documentation with the new hardship application form for the 2017 payment adjustment.

BREAKING: The 2016 HCI 100 is Now Open for Submissions

February 2, 2016
Is your company one of the 100 leading healthcare IT companies? HCI will once again rank the top vendors with the highest revenues derived from healthcare IT products and services earned in the U.S. based on revenue information from the previous year.

Pages