HHS Secretary Azar: Medicare Advantage Will Grow Telehealth Beyond COVID-19

Posted on Monday, October 19, 2020 

As a result of COVID-19, telehealth has exploded, and Medicare Advantage plans are going to be a part of its growth going forward. CMS is planning to make permanent several of the temporary flexibilities to expand telehealth.

“One of the instructive experiences from COVID-19 has been the vastly expanded role of telehealth … We went from about 14,000 virtual visits and Medicare fee for service each week before the pandemic to nearly 1.7 million virtual visits a week at the peak. There’s no undoing this revolution,” U>S> Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a virtual address at the Better Medicare Alliance Medicare Advantage Summit. “We believe patients will start to see telehealth as a durable and desirable part of their health care experience. The future gold standard of care will integrate both in person services and telehealth customized around the patient’s needs and their doctor’s advice.”

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