The primary obstacle to Medicare making greater use of telehealth is current laws, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has told Congress in a new report.

The report, mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, outlines the extent of telehealth utilization today, describes its benefits, and suggests potential new and expanded uses for telehelath, but it also notes that

Current restrictions on eligible telehealth originating sites appear to be the greatest barrier to preventing the expansion of Medicare telehealth services.  The two most significant Medicare restrictions are:  1) requiring the originating site to be located in certain types of rural areas; and 2) not allowing the beneficiary’s home to be an eligible originating site.

Congress’s mandate did not include a request for recommendations and CMS did not offer any.

Learn more about how Medicare uses telehealth today, how it could use telehealth more extensively if the opportunity presented itself, and what the barriers are to greater use of telehealth in the CMS report to Congress Information on Telehealth, which can be found here.