John Katko

12/06/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2021 11:07

Rep. Katko Announces Successful Push to Expand Medicare Coverage for Mental Telehealth Services

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Katko (NY-24) today announced the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) made a significant policy change to expand Medicare coverage for audio-only telehealth services, ensuring seniors in Central New York have the ability to access quality mental healthcare over the phone. This move follows a successful Rep. Katko effort that pushed CMS to temporarily expand coverage for audio-only telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, Medicare only reimbursed recipients for telehealth services conducted through video and audio equipment such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones, preventing seniors without these devices from accessing important services and care. Now, with CMS's permanent policy change, Central New York seniors can be reimbursed through Medicare for mental health services they receive over the phone.

"It's welcome news that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has changed their policy and will now allow seniors to be reimbursed for mental health services they receive over the phone," said Rep. Katko. "Many seniors struggle to access telehealth services when they're only available using laptops, tablets, or smart phones. That's why this fix is so important. With seniors throughout Central New York still reliant on telehealth services, this permanent policy fix will ensure seniors in-need are able to receive quality mental health treatment safely from home."