Medicare saw telehealth use grow more than 6,000% during pandemic

The Health and Human Services Department found that Medicare visits held via telehealth increased 63-fold from 2019 to 2020 as a result of flexibilities put into place due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, according to a new HHS study released Friday.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will use the report’s results to inform future Medicare telehealth policy, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a news release.

Providers have been eager to see how lawmakers and policymakers will regulate telehealth once the PHE ends. Medicare payment advisors have suggested a temporary extension of flexibilities to allow time to study telehealth’s impacts.

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