President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Aug. 3 to expand telehealth and support health care in rural communities.
The administration will make permanent telehealth Medicare payments for certain health care providers and services to ensure expansion of virtual care continues after the pandemic. However, a more permanent extension of telehealth coverage outside of rural areas and enabling telehealth services to be provided to a patient at home will need to be enacted by Congress.
The order also directs the departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services and the Federal Communications Commission to form a task force to focus on improving broadband infrastructure in rural communities to support telehealth. In addition, Medicare will leverage its authority to test new voluntary pilot payment models through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for rural providers, which will be released soon.