APG Supports ‘Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act’

Washington, DC – Today America’s Physician Groups (APG) joined America’s Health Insurance Plans and nine other medical organizations in support of the Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act. This bill would require the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider diagnoses from audio-only telehealth visits for payment in Medicare Advantage (MA).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that telehealth technology is an essential tool to keeping older Americans and people with chronic health conditions healthy,” said Don Crane, APG President and CEO. “Telehealth services hold enormous potential to improve health outcomes, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and ER visits, and lower healthcare costs. APG’s mission of promoting capitated, delegated, and coordinated care aligns well with our support for expanding telehealth services that allow physicians to provide high-quality, cost-effective access to care.”

APG strongly supports changes in existing telehealth regulations in Medicare, including adding ‘telephone without video capability’ coverage in both traditional Medicare and in MA. The Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act includes sensible protections to help prevent potential fraud and abuse in the Medicare system. These safeguards include ensuring that only diagnoses previously documented with an in-person patient visit can be obtained via audio-only for risk adjustment, and that patients have an established relationship with their healthcare provider (or the practice) for the audio-only diagnosis to be used.

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About America’s Physician Groups 

America’s Physician Groups is a national association representing more than 340 physician groups with approximately 195,000 physicians providing care to nearly 45 million patients. APG’s tagline, ‘Taking Responsibility for America’s Health,’ represents our members’ vision to move from the antiquated, dysfunctional fee-for-service reimbursement system to a clinically integrated, value-based healthcare system where physician groups are accountable for the coordination, cost, and quality of patient care. Visit us at www.apg.org.


Contact: Greg Phillips, APG Director of Communications, 202-770-1901, gphillips@apg.org