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97 Counties to Lose Telehealth Medicare Benefits

March 29, 2013 | Telepresence Options

Medicare beneficiaries in 97 counties--across 36 states and territories--are slated to lose telehealth benefits because of updated federal delineations of Standards Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The American Telemedicine Association urges Congress to amend federal statute and ensure that existing beneficiaries will not lose coverage for these life-saving services.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 27, 2013

Medicare beneficiaries in 97 counties--across 36 states and territories--are slated to lose telehealth benefits because of updated federal delineations of Standards Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs). The new federal urban/rural categorization effectively revokes the option for Medicare recipients to receive healthcare services via videoconferencing--one of the most common and cost-effective forms of telehealth.� Hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries are negatively impacted by this statistical realignment.

Medicare coverage is not available for video visits to beneficiaries living in metropolitan areas-where over 80% of recipients live. The new SMSA rules designate 28 additional counties as "non-metropolitan," qualifying their residents for telemedicine services under Medicare.� However, the same adjustments increase the total number of counties, population and patient base that are precluded from the benefits of telemedicine.�

"When it comes to telemedicine, Congress has long overlooked the need for telemedicine services to residents of urban counties, despite the fact that they often suffer similar problems accessing healthcare.� Now, because of a statistical quirk, even more people will lose coverage of these services, reducing access and care," said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association.� "Medicare should cover remote health services for all beneficiaries, regardless of location.� We call on Congress to ensure that existing beneficiaries will not lose coverage for these services."

97 Counties to Lose Medicare Telehealth:

  • � Alabama: Pickens County
  • Arizona: Cochise County
  • Arkansas: Little River County
  • Connecticut: Windham County
  • Delaware: Sussex County
  • Florida: Citrus County, Gulf County, Highlands County, Sumter County, Walton County
  • Georgia: Lincoln County, Morgan County, Peach County, Pulaski County
  • Hawaii: Kalawao County, Maui County
  • Idaho: Butte County
  • Illinois: De Witt County, Jackson County, Williamson County
  • Indiana: Scott County
  • Iowa: Plymouth County
  • Kansas: Kingman County
  • Kentucky: Allen County, Butler County
  • Louisiana: Iberia Parish, St. James Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Vermilion Parish, Webster Parish
  • Maryland: St. Mary's County, Worcester County
  • Michigan: Midland County, Montcalm County
  • Minnesota: Fillmore County, Le Sueur County, Mille Lacs County, Sibley County
  • Mississippi: Benton County, Yazoo County
  • Montana: Golden Valley County
  • Nebraska: Hall County, Hamilton County, Howard County, Merrick County
  • New York: Jefferson County, Yates County
  • North Carolina: Craven County, Davidson County, Gates County, Iredell County, Jones County, Lincoln County, Pamlico County, Rowan County
  • North Dakota: Oliver County, Sioux County
  • Oregon: Josephine County, Linn County
  • Pennsylvania: Adams County, Columbia County, Franklin County, Monroe County, Montour County
  • Puerto Rico: Utuado Municipio
  • South Carolina: Beaufort County, Chester County, Jasper County, Lancaster County, Union County
  • South Dakota: Custer County
  • Tennessee: Campbell County, Crockett County, Maury County, Morgan County, Roane County
  • Texas: Falls County, Hood County, Hudspeth County, Lynn County, Martin County, Newton County, Oldham County
  • Utah: Box Elder County
  • Virginia: Augusta County, Buckingham County, Culpeper County, Floyd County, Staunton City, Waynesboro City
  • Washington: Columbia County, Pend Oreille County, Stevens County, Walla Walla County
  • West Virginia: Fayette County, Raleigh County
  • Wisconsin: Green County

28 Counties Gain Medicare Telehealth:

  • � Idaho: Power County
  • Indiana: Franklin County, Gibson County, Greene County
  • Kansas: Franklin County
  • Kentucky: Nelson County
  • Massachusetts: Franklin County
  • Michigan: Ionia County
  • Mississippi: George County, Stone County
  • Missouri: Howard County, Washington County
  • North Carolina: Anson County, Greene County
  • Ohio: Erie County
  • Tennessee: Stewart County
  • Texas: Calhoun County, Delta County, McLennan County
  • Utah: Summit County
  • Virginia: Cumberland County, King and Queen County, Louisa County, Pittsylvania County, Danville City
  • West Virginia: Morgan County, Pleasants County

The American Telemedicine Association is the leading international resource and advocate promoting the use of advanced remote medical technologies. ATA and its diverse membership work to fully integrate telemedicine into healthcare systems to improve quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world. Established in 1993, ATA is headquartered in Washington, DC. For more information visit

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