President orders expansion of Telehealth services

Telehealth services are now being expanded for people on Medicare, by order of the president. Seema Verma, who authored Indiana's HIP 2.0 plan, and who is now in charge of Medicare and Medicaid for the federal government, made the announcement Friday afternoon.


"Medicare beneficiaries across the nation, no matter where they live, should be able to receive a wide range of health services via telehealth without ever having to leave their home," said Verma, noting that before the emergency declaration by the president, telehealth visits were limited and were available to Medicare patients who live in rural areas.


"These telehealth services can be provided in a variety of settings including nursing homes, hospital outpatient settings and more," she said.


Verma said that protects the people in nursing homes by limiting their exposure to people who might have the virus.


"We will use enforcement discretion when it comes to collecting copays, so cost won't be a barrier for telehealth services."


Essentially that means people won't be forced to pay to get the service.


Verma said that if you know someone who needs help with the tech to get their telehealth visit up and running, and you know how, please make yourself available.


"We want to make sure that people are using common sense and not entering a senior's home if they are exhibiting signs of a respiratory illness," she said.


Gov. Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box have been asking people who can do telehealth visits rather than go to their doctor's offices do so.

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