ST. PAUL, MN—Assistant Majority Leader Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, is among more than twenty Greater Minnesota legislators calling for federal legislation to expand telemedicine coverage for Minnesotans on Medicare. A letter sent 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 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 Baker issued the following statement regarding the letter and the urgent need to expand telemedicine access:
"As it expands throughout the state, it's my hope that telemedicine will help connect folks here in Kandiyohi County with the best specialists and doctors in the world, improving the quality of care while reducing the need for people to drive all the way to Rochester or the Twin Cities. It's important for Congress to follow our lead in expanding access to this new, exciting technology so that our Medicaire patients aren't left behind."