Medicare telehealth pre- and post-COVID-19: interstate framework, regulations, licensure, and HIPAA




cost-savings, COVID-19, interstate, medical licensure, Medicare, patient privacy, telemedicine


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to temporary relaxations for telehealth concerning physician licensure, geographic location, and eligible sites for reimbursement. Earlier policies had impacted the rate of adoption of telehealth services and hindered the ability to derive full benefits related to cost, access to care, and quality of care. This aspect is analyzed using 2018 Medicare fee-for-service codes and rates for 10 telemedicine services. Based on the data analysis, additional research, and a literature review, this report describes how interstate practices can be better leveraged to achieve maximum potential for direct and indirect savings from pragmatic approaches for certain services. The interstate collaborations proposed in this report provide examples of broader telehealth policies that could foster increasing access to quality healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries and can potentially be used as an insight to assist federal and state agencies as they review the continuation, cessation, or modifications of relaxations granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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Author Biographies

Dr. Amar Gupta, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ph.D., Coordinator for Telemedicine and Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ilina Shah

Ilina Shah, B.S., B.A. University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA, US)

Dr. Joanna Mitri, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Joanna Mitri, MD, MS, Research Associate and Staff Physician at Joslin Diabetes Center (Boston, MA, US); Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, MA, US);

Joslin Diabetes Center, 1 Joslin place, Boston, MA 02215, Harvard Medical School



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How to Cite

Albanese, S., Gupta, A., Shah, I., & Mitri, J. (2021). Medicare telehealth pre- and post-COVID-19: interstate framework, regulations, licensure, and HIPAA. Telehealth and Medicine Today, 6(4).



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