Barriers and Uncertainty Stymie Growth of Telehealth Services

While government and commercial payer reimbursement for telehealth services has expanded significantly in recent years, there is a gap between the number and specialities of physicians expressing interest in offering the service and those who have followed through. According to Leventhal (2019, April 16), “Physician barriers to telehealth include: uncertainty around reimbursement, questions about clinical appropriateness, lack of physician buy-in, poor leadership support.”

CMS has relaxed some of the requirements for Medicare reimbursement of telehealth services through expanded definitions of originating site and eligible geographic areas; however, providers must be cognizant of the compliant use and documentation required to support the billable codes (see Medicare Learning Network publication ICN 901705, January 2019).