New York (April 30, 2020)—The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) today commended the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which announced a new round of regulatory waivers and rule changes aligned with feedback from the AGS. Specifically, CMS now broadened its list of telephone/audio-only services to include behavioral health care and patient education. CMS also increased reimbursement for telephone/audio visits, so they remain on par with reimbursement for similar office and outpatient care.
“For geriatrics health professionals, telehealth has emerged as an invaluable tool for ensuring that older Americans have access to the care they need,” said AGS Chief Executive Officer Nancy Lundebjerg, MPA. “One challenge has been how best to care for older adults, many of whom are not comfortable with or do not have resources like smartphones or are uncomfortable operating audio/video-capable software and mobile applications. This change from CMS will help ensure that medically complex older adults will have access to their clinicians using familiar technology.”