Josh LaRosa Quoted in Fortune Article on Telehealth’s Long-Term Future

The $1.7 trillion spending package Congress passed in December included a two-year extension of key telehealth provisions, such as coverage for Medicare beneficiaries to have phone or video medical appointments at home. But it also signaled political reluctance to make the payment changes permanent, requiring federal regulators to study how Medicare enrollees use telehealth.

The omnibus bill’s provisions include: paying for audio-only and home care; allowing for a variety of doctors and others, such as occupational therapists, to use telehealth; delaying in-person requirements for mental health patients; and continuing existing telehealth services for federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics.

Telehealth use among Medicare beneficiaries grew from less than 1% before the pandemic to more than 32% in April 2020. By July 2021, the use of remote appointments retreated somewhat, settling at 13% to 17% of claims submitted, according to a fee-for-service claims analysis by McKinsey & Co.

Fears over potential fraud and the cost of expanding telehealth have made politicians hesitant, said Josh LaRosa, vice president at the Wynne Health Group, which focuses on payment and care delivery reform. The report required in the omnibus package “is really going to help to provide more clarity,” LaRosa said.
Read the full article here.