ST. PAUL, MN—Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, is among more than twenty Greater Minnesota legislators calling for federal legislation to expand telemedicine coverage for Minnesotans on Medicare. A letter sent last Friday to all ten members of Minnesota's congressional delegation urged support for Medicare reimbursement to be extended to cover telemedicine services.
The letter comes in light of legislation passed during the 2015 session that requires private insurance companies to reimburse providers for telemedicine services. The new law also expands telemedicine opportunities for Medical Assistance (MA) recipients to include coverage for consultations and medically necessary services at the full allowable rate.
Expanding telemedicine coverage for Medicare would bring increased health care options and access to top specialists and providers for aging Minnesotans on Medicare in Greater Minnesota who may find it logistically or financially difficult to come to the Twin Cities or to Rochester.
Representative Gruenhagen issued the following statement regarding the letter and the need to expand telemedicine access:
"Telemedicine is a truly innovative way for us to reduce health care costs while expanding quality to people especially in rural areas who may not have access to the same doctors and specialists in at Mayo or in the Metro," Gruenhagen said. "Congress needs to follow our lead and make sure our seniors on Medicare can see the same benefits as everyone else thanks to the new legislation we passed in 2015. Reforms that can help cut costs and increase quality of care are a win for taxpayers and a win for patients. I'm excited to see what telemedicine can do for health care as it becomes more common across Minnesota."