Medicare’s telehealth coverage has strict limits on what kinds of telehealth consultations or procedures will be covered, where patients can be located (certain designated rural areas only), what kinds of facilities can be originating sites (where the patient must be physically when the consultation takes place), what kinds of health care professionals are authorized to provide telehealth services and, most restrictive of all, it will only cover live real-time audio-video encounters.

At present it will only cover store-and-forward for demonstration projects in Alaska and Hawaii. Having said that, it does not classify radiology and some other common, well established asynchronous health care processes as ‘store-and-forward’ and thus will cover those. As far as we know, there are no demonstration projects or exceptions for remote patient monitoring in Medicare.

For a description of Medicare’s rules of telehealth, see its “2019 Telehealth Services” booklet.