In a report published on March 31, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) begin to collect and analyze information about any effect telehealth has on the quality of care for Medicaid beneficiaries. CMS does not currently collect or analyze this information, nor does it have plans to do so. The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that it was not aware of any existing stand-alone measures that focus solely on the delivery of services through telehealth.
As the telehealth landscape continues to evolve, with many changes becoming permanent, the introduction of quality-of-care metrics would be consistent with CMS’s responsibility to oversee states’ efforts to ensure that quality services are delivered to beneficiaries. Such analysis would inform, for example, whether populations receiving Medicaid home and community-based services and support would benefit from a return to in-person services, as providers who assess a beneficiary’s living condition and capability through only telephone or video visits may be getting less than the whole picture.
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