A new rule by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should increase access to telehealth services, provide more coverage options for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney failure, and offer wider benefits for others with chronic diseases.
The wide-ranging rule released Friday is expected to save an estimated $3.65 billion over ten years, the agency said.
The rule encourages private plans that cover Medicare beneficiaries to increase telehealth offerings for those living in rural areas. It also allows patients with end-stage renal disease to access coverage through those Medicare Advantage plans.
The new moves advance President Donald Trump’s previous executive orders to improve the Medicare program and the nation’s kidney health.
“CMS’s rapid changes to telehealth are a godsend to patients and providers and allows people to be treated in the safety of their home,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “The changes we are making will help make telehealth more widely available in Medicare Advantage and are part of larger efforts to advance telehealth.”
The rule implements changes made under the 21st Century Cures Act, which allows all Medicare beneficiaries with end-state renal disease to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan next year.
You can read the press release from CMS here.