In a POLITICO “Future Pulse” newsletter article titled “Congress’ Next Telehealth Battle: Busting Fraud,” Megan Herber, Faegre Drinker Consulting director, addressed the future of telehealth coverage as it relates to a new in-person requirement and concerns that the field is prone to fraudulent billing.
According to POLITICO, a measure that would have extended telehealth coverage by one year was cut from last month’s major spending package. Instead, lawmakers included a narrow expansion of behavioral health care but only for patients who had already seen their provider in-person.
The publication further described how some lobbying groups are urging Congress to remove that requirement, but fraud concerns could prevent that from happening. Telehealth advocates are now counting on new data from the pandemic to demonstrate that concerns about fraud and overspending are overblown.
Herber told POLITICO, “The longer a lot of these flexibilities are in place during the pandemic, and all these terrible things that everyone is so scared of actually don’t happen, hopefully, that’ll provide both quantitative data and also experience to help [Congress] feel a little more comfortable.”