Eleven private insurers wrote a letter to the Congressional Budget Office asking that their data on the effectiveness of telemedicine be included when the CBO calculates cost savings created by the technology. CMS is considering paying for telemedicine services as they relate to dialysis for end-stage renal disease, advance care planning and critical care consultations. The insurers currently can include telemedicine in Medicare Advantage plans only as a supplemental benefit.
Insurers who sent the letter are Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Molina Healthcare, MVP Health Care, EmblemHealth, Cambia Health Solutions, CareSource, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, HMSA—Blue Cross Blue Shield of Hawaii, and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
The payers contend that an expansion of telemedicine would bolster efforts to shift to a value-based care system. “One public actuarial study that examined data from five leading telemedicine platforms found that telehealth services results in savings,” the insurers wrote. “The data suggested that, on average, 83% of telehealth visits resolved the clinical issue for which care was being sought via telehealth, requiring no additional follow-up care.”
Source: Letter to CBO