It shows that since 2017, 40 states and the District of Columbia have adopted substantive policies or received awards to expand telehealth coverage and reimbursement.
That friendlier reimbursement environment is combined with ramped-up physician adoption: an American Well survey released earlier this year showed that physician adoption of telehealth increased 340% between 2015 and 2018, far outpacing adoption rates in the early years of EHRs.
But what that might mean for the revenue cycle needs a closer look.
One of the answers likely lies in one of the report’s key findings: “that a growing number of states allow for insurance reimbursement parity,” Johnson says.
Specifically, the report found:
Johnson notes that “increased reimbursement parity laws can be seen as a positive development for all providers, including hospitals, because they can generate revenue from payment from third parties (e.g., insurers) in addition to patient cost sharing for services rendered at a lower cost to providers.”
More broadly, she points out that anytime a service is provided on a cash-pay basis, the revenue cycle stands to benefit, since providers can often request payment upfront, rather than wait for an insurer to process a claim.
“It has been argued a hospital’s ability to improve its revenue cycle is likely stronger in a cash-pay setting where patients are more likely to pay for services up front; cash-pay telehealth services are no different in this regard,” Johnson says.
The survey also found that: