As part of its new Next Generation Accountable Care Organization model of payment and care delivery, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are allowing ACOs to use telehealth services, thereby extending coverage for telemedicine services to millions of Medicare beneficiaries. 

Under this new ACO model announced by CMS on March 10, Medicare telehealth services can be covered without regard to longstanding rural and institution restrictions, requiring a beneficiary be located in a rural area and served at a health facility. And, for the first time, telehealth coverage will be extended to 80 percent of Medicare beneficiaries living in metropolitan areas and from any service originating site, such as their home.

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