Geographic Restrictions Create Barriers to Telehealth, Says GAO

April 19, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Medicare's practice of paying for telehealth visits only if the patient connects from a rural health facility creates barriers to its use, says the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in an April 14, 2017, report. GAO reviewed documents from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and interviewed agency officials as well as several individuals with interest or expertise in telehealth. It concluded that implementing telehealth and remote patient monitoring can improve or maintain quality of care. Telehealth can improve outcomes by encouraging follow-up, GAO said, and remote monitoring is helpful in treating those with chronic diseases.

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