COVID-19 has caused many obstacles for seniors. For one, many seniors did not, and still do not, feel comfortable with going to the doctors because of the high potential risks of being infected. Telehealth, a “technology to support long-distance clinical healthcare” (HealthIT), has now become the new normal for many seniors. Telehealth has led to new legislation with the aim of giving reimbursements to Medicare beneficiaries.
However, because of the new normal created by COVID-19, the health industry is now working to advance a new bill that would ensure that Medicare would cover telehealth services. The industry’s goal is to have telehealth services permanently covered by Medicare. Kat Jerich from HealthcareITNews notes the importance of this matter because it stretches further than just coverage for seniors. It allows seniors and underprivileged people living in rural areas the ability to have more accessible healthcare.
In a HealthLeaders interview with CEO Ann Mond Johnson of American Telehealth Industries (ATA), Johnson says that she wants to “ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable and effective care when and where they need it,” and that this new legislation bill for remote care “is the key to achieving this vision” (HealthLeader).
As an insurance agent consulting for Medicare, it is important to note what virtual services are available for your beneficiaries. Services such as telehealth visits, e-visits, virtual check-ins, skilled nursing facilities, end-stage renal disease patient’s homes, rural health clinics, etc.