Pew Supports Telehealth Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Medicare

Proposed policies would help make access to lifesaving care more equitable

Telehealth Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Medicare

On Sept. 8, Pew submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on ways that telehealth can increase access to opioid use disorder treatment for Medicare beneficiaries, in response to the agency’s proposed revisions to the Physician Fee Schedule.

Pew’s comments support CMS’ proposal to continue allowing payment for audio-only periodic assessments furnished by opioid treatment programs and urge CMS to make this allowance permanent. Pew also supports the agency’s plan to continue paying for telehealth services provided by Medicare-certified rural health centers and federally qualified health centers.

In addition, Pew calls on Medicare to revise regulations that define interactive telecommunications systems to allow health care providers located in areas without adequate broadband to provide audio-only treatment services if they are incapable of providing audiovisual telehealth, as CMS currently requires.

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