Medicare telehealth spending rose nearly 30% in 2016: 4 things to know

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CMS reported Medicare telehealth payments increased 28 percent last year, according to The National Law Review.

Here are four things to know, based on claims data obtained by The National Law Review from Politico Pro.

1. Medicare telehealth payments totaled $28.7 million in 2016 compared to $22.4 million the year prior. That's an increase of 28 percent. The report notes these amounts include distant site provider and originating site payments.

2. Medicare telehealth claims totaled 496,396 in 2016 compared to 372,518 claims the year prior. That's an increase of 33 percent.

3. The increase in Medicare telehealth payments is attributed to "more providers using telehealth services with their traditional Medicare FFS [fee-for-service] beneficiaries," according to the report.

4. In analyzing the claims data, The National Law Review notes a vast majority of distant site claims (66 percent) had a matching originating site claim last year.

Read the full report here.


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