From Politico’s Morning Health —

TELEMEDICINE PROPOSAL WILL COST MONEY: A new CMS proposal to expand Medicare payments for virtual consultations foresees the telemedicine expansion as an additional expense that will be offset by cuts in the base rate paid to physicians.

The CMS physician fee schedule and quality payment proposal issued last Thursday calls for Medicare to pay doctors and nurses to conduct pre-visit check-ins with patients. On page 1104, the rulemakers estimate with this would eventually lead to an estimated 19 million check-in payments per year. The cost to Medicare would be offset with a 0.2 percent reduction in the “conversion factor,” or base rate paid to physicians, in order for the rule to meet legal requirements of budget neutrality for new payment codes.