Get up to speed on big wins to ensure that telehealth is covered

Tanya Albert Henry , Contributing News Writer

From the nation’s capitol to the physician’s exam room and places in between, learn how the AMA has advanced—and continues to advance—telehealth. 

Making technology work for physicians

The AMA is working to make sure technology is an asset to physicians—not a burden.

The AMA’s advocacy is making it easier for physicians to expand care to their patients via telehealth and get paid fairly for their services, as outlined in a report detailing the huge impact the AMA is having in this area (PDF). 

Most significantly, the AMA’s advocacy has helped expand telehealth access, coverage and payment. Major achievements include:

  • Making telehealth available to Medicare patients nationwide, wherever they are located including in their homes.
  • Securing legislation to extend telehealth flexibilities in Medicare through December 2024 through enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which lifts geographic and originating site restrictions, extends Medicare coverage of audio-only services, delays the in-person visit requirements for telemental health services, and extends the Acute Hospital Care at Home program—all policies strongly supported by the AMA.
  • Increased telehealth payment for in-person visit rates through 2023.
  • Coverage of remote patient monitoring for acute and chronic conditions.
  • Private payers continue to follow Medicare’s guidance to ensure access to care for patients.
  • Permanently expanded Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ definition of equipment that can be used for telehealth to include smartphones that are capable of two-way real-time interactive communication.

Supporting telehealth is an essential component of the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians.

Telehealth is critical to the future of health care, which is why the AMA continues to lead the charge to aggressively expand telehealth policy, research and resources to ensure physician practice sustainability and fair payment.

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The AMA’s work extends into state legislatures, as well, providing state-level policy recommendations and guidance to expand telehealth coverage, access and payment.

Among other things, the AMA:

  • Created a new issue brief (PDF) on telehealth payment policies.
  • Continues to promotes its model telehealth bill and works with state medical associations on legislation expanding coverage, payment or access to telehealth.

The AMA’s state laws chart helpfully summarizes key provisions in telehealth laws across the country to inform and identify legislative trends.

Visit AMA Advocacy in Action to find out what’s at stake in supporting telehealth and other advocacy priorities the AMA is actively working on. 

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The AMA also has developed these tools to help physicians to make the most of telehealth in their practices. 

Fighting for Physicians

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Figure speaking into a megaphone

The Return on Health framework, which helps practices articulate the value of digitally enabled care, accounting for ways in which telehealth programs can increase overall health and generate positive impact.

The Telehealth Implementation Playbook, which helps practices overcome barriers such as licensing, payment, finding and evaluating a vendor, contracting, and workflow.

The Telehealth Clinical Education Playbook, which provides a framework to organize and implement telehealth clinical education, particularly at the patient-encounter level.

The Future of Telehealth Immersion Program, a self-guided curriculum of live and recorded webinars, interactive peer-to-peer learning sessions, virtual discussions, boot camps and resources on-demand designed to educate physicians and facilitate collaboration.

Learn more about how the AMA is driving the future of health, and visit the AMA telehealth resource center to get up to speed on essential telehealth definitions, research findings, guides and reports, news and AMA policy.