News Headlines Article

The Health 202: Hospitals lean into virtual health care even as Medicare won’t cover it
The Washington Post

From a glassy four-story building in the St. Louis suburbs, doctors and nurses at Mercy Virtual Care Center give checkups and monitor vital signs for patients located miles away — even, sometimes, in other states.

Yet much of its long-distance treatment isn’t yet compensated by Medicare, the largest insurance payer in the United States.

Mercy Virtual — often referred to as the country’s first hospital without beds — is part of a new frontier in medical care.Virtual care, or telehealth, is increasingly adopted by hospitals and clinics not only to fill in shortages in rural areas but also to care for patients more proactively than many hospitals have resources for.