Hoeven Statement on Administration Increasing Medicare Reimbursement for Audio Telehealth Services During Pandemic

Senator Joined Colleagues in Urging HHS, CMS to Address Payments for Audio-Only Medical Consultations

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Administration announced it will increase reimbursement for audio-only telehealth services, which will help ensure patients have better access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that payments for audio-only health services will be reimbursed similarly to services provided in-person or using video telehealth services. 

Hoeven joined a bipartisan group of Senators in urging HHS and CMS to ensure patients in areas without video capabilities for telehealth services have access to care by addressing disparities in reimbursement for audio-only services. Click here for the letter.

“Health care providers in North Dakota and across the nation are on the front lines during this public health emergency and we need to do all we can to support their efforts,” said Hoeven. “Given not all patients have access to video-based telehealth services, we appreciate HHS and CMS heeding our request to increase reimbursement for audio-only services, which will help ensure that patients have access to care whether it be over the telephone or through video-based telehealth services.” 

Earlier this month, Hoeven brought together North Dakota health care providers and administration officials to discuss the assistance passed by Congress to support efforts to combat COVID-19 as well as administrative actions put in place by HHS and CMS to assist health care providers as they address the pandemic.