WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare said Tuesday it will immediately expand coverage for telemedicine nationwide to help seniors with health problems stay home to avoid the coronavirus.
The new option will allow millions of older people to take care of ongoing medical problems as well as new concerns, while heeding public health advice to stay home during the outbreak.
For example, a patient with diabetes wouldn't have to postpone a regular follow-up visit with the doctor to keep safe — he or she could do it via Skype. And people concerned they may have the virus could "see" their doctor or nurse practitioner virtually to find out how to get tested in person.
"It helps us prevent the spread of the virus," said Medicare administrator Seema Verma.