How CMS' newest innovation model will change telehealth payments 

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CMS' new, five-year Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport Model will reimburse ambulance service providers for providing telehealth treatment for Medicare beneficiaries.

The ET3 model, released by the CMS innovation center Feb. 14, aims to give ambulance care teams more flexibility in how they triage emergencies, particularly low-acuity emergencies that may not require a trip to the hospital. Under the new model, Medicare will reimburse for transport to a primary care office or urgent care site, or for providing care in place or using telehealth. Medicare currently covers ground ambulance transport to hospitals, critical access hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and dialysis centers, and most patients are brought to hospitals. The goal of ET3 is to reduce costs and improve care quality by reducing unnecessary hospital visits.

Local governments will be responsible for creating medical triage lines for their 911 dispatch systems, while ambulance providers will oversee connected telehealth services. Healthcare practitioners that partner with the ambulance teams for telehealth will be reimbursed as usual under Medicare for services.

 

More articles on telehealth:

Teladoc Health introduces new and expanded virtual care capabilities for hospitals and health systems
NewYork-Presbyterian surpasses 100K virtual visits: CIO Daniel Barchi reflects
Blum Telehealth integrates new payment, identity features into virtual care platform

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