42 CFR § 422.135 - Additional telehealth benefits.

(a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

Additional telehealth benefits means services:

(1) For which benefits are available under Medicare Part B but which are not payable under section 1834(m) of the Act; and

(2) That have been identified by the MA plan for the applicable year as clinically appropriate to furnish through electronic exchange when the physician (as defined in section 1861(r) of the Act) or practitioner (described in section 1842(b)(18)(C) of the Act) providing the service is not in the same location as the enrollee.

Electronic exchange means electronic information and telecommunications technology.

(b) General rule. An MA plan may treat additional telehealth benefits as basic benefits covered under the original Medicare fee-for-service program for purposes of this part 422 provided that the requirements of this section are met. If the MA plan fails to comply with the requirements of this section, then the MA plan may not treat the benefits provided through electronic exchange as additional telehealth benefits, but may treat them as supplemental benefits as described in § 422.102, subject to CMS approval.

(c) Requirements. An MA plan furnishing additional telehealth benefits must:

(1) Furnish in-person access to the specified Part B service(s) at the election of the enrollee.

(2) Advise each enrollee that the enrollee may receive the specified Part B service(s) through an in-person visit or through electronic exchange.

(3) Comply with the provider selection and credentialing requirements provided in § 422.204, and, when providing additional telehealth benefits, ensure through its contract with the provider that the provider meet and comply with applicable State licensing requirements and other applicable laws for the State in which the enrollee is located and receiving the service.

(4) Make information about coverage of additional telehealth benefits available to CMS upon request. Information may include, but is not limited to, statistics on use or cost, manner(s) or method of electronic exchange, evaluations of effectiveness, and demonstration of compliance with the requirements of this section.

(d) Requirement to use contracted providers. An MA plan furnishing additional telehealth benefits may only do so using contracted providers. Coverage of benefits furnished by a non-contracted provider through electronic exchange may only be covered as a supplemental benefit.

(e) Bidding. An MA plan that fully complies with this section may include additional telehealth benefits in its bid for basic benefits in accordance with § 422.254.

(f) Cost sharing. MA plans offering additional telehealth benefits may maintain different cost sharing for the specified Part B service(s) furnished through an in-person visit and the specified Part B service(s) furnished through electronic exchange.

[84 FR 15829, Apr. 16, 2019]