Subject: Fight for seniors
As your constituent, I am writing to request that you cosponsor S.150 and H.R. 2166, the Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act.
The public health emergency and stay-at-home orders have led to a nationwide avoidance of in-person clinical care and elective services. While providers and Medicare Advantage organizations are working together to provide needed care and reduce the impact of this pandemic on Medicare's vulnerable population, utilization of in-person care and services remains low.
Medicare Advantage relies on accurate health assessments of each beneficiary every year to determine their health conditions and reflect a beneficiary's current diagnoses. Low utilization of in-person visits has made it difficult to obtain both ongoing and new diagnoses on all beneficiaries. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already taken action to permit data obtained during audio-video telehealth visits to provide diagnoses for risk adjustment, however, they are denying the same use for data collected by audio-only telehealth visits.
S. 150 and H.R. 2166, the Ensuring Parity in Medicare Advantage for Audio-Only Telehealth Act, will address this gap and allow the use of diagnoses obtained by audio-only telehealth visits for risk adjustment. Allowing the use of this data will help avoid disruption in care in the future, ensure that clinically accurate data is collected on patients during the public health emergency, and will make certain that patients are getting the care they need during and after this pandemic.
Please act today to ensure that data collected through audio-only telehealth visits are allowed for risk adjustment for the 26 million beneficiaries, like me, across the country that choose Medicare Advantage.