Telehealth advocates are struggling to allay lawmakers’ fears about increased Medicare costs as they seek to capitalize on momentum from the pandemic’s shutdown on in-person care.
Expanding telemedicine is a rare unifying force among industry giants that want to broaden digital health for the entitlement program’s 61 million enrollees. But telehealth advocates are battling twin fears about potentially higher spending and fraud — two concerns they call unfounded.
Medicare’s trust fund, which pays for inpatient hospital care, is expected to start running dry in 2026, according to the 2020 annual trustees’ report. The outlook has sobered lawmakers who last year lifted a number of Medicare restrictions under the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.