Covid and 3 month visit requirement Part B Medicare

First - I Hope everyone is safe and managing your disease under the circumstances.

Question: anyone heard any updates or changes regarding the 3 month visit requirement for part B pump supplies?
Thinking it may not be wise to go to upcoming Dr. office for the 3 month visit. However, I don’t want to be ineligible for my next round of supplies should I cancel my appointment
Thoughts, considerations, anecdotes ?
Be safe all!

medicare is allowing telemedicine appointments to suffice

My three month endo visit was originally scheduled to take place tomorrow. I sent a message to my doctor a week ago inquiring if we could turn this in-person visit into a remote visit using the phone or even video.

Her first response was negative but within a half hour she said that I could do a tele-health visit with another doctor. I readily agreed. That visit takes place in about an hour.

I really do think Medicare should relax this requirement due to this drastic change in circumstance. It should not leave in place this perverse incentive, especially for seniors, a particularly vulnerable population.

I would call the doctor’s office and see what they could do to accommodate you. At this point in time, I think the risks of the in-person visit outweigh the benefit of checking the box for the Medicare requirement. Do you have a safety buffer with your supplies? Any extras?

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thanks for the input. I just scheduled my tele-medicine appt. for next Tuesday., to replace my in person visit tomorrow. Hope yours went ok. Perhaps you can share observations or preparation suggestions for these E-Visits.

thanks - this helped

Here is an article announcing the change. Previously my endo’s practice has never done telehealth visits. Mostly because of security concerns not reimbursement concerns. Fortunately I am not due for a visit until May and hopefully they will start having such visits by then.

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-03-17/to-keep-seniors-safe-at-home-medicare-expands-telemedicine?fbclid=IwAR2L91fIjh0oDT2O-o7vUHkzfBa53LfB0XdPS5SobftQtSfQARJaBbwEPE4

Terry, I am curious how you felt about your tele-health visit.

I may be old school but I grew up with endos and internists who came from the Iowa med school tradition of actually poking with fingers and feeling the internal organs.

Today even if I visit the doc and all she does is blood tests, I actually feel I’m not getting my money’s worth if the doc isn’t poking their fingers deep into my abdomen and feeling and prodding all around my thyroids.

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LOL, reminds me of a Endo visit, as he was poking and prodding he asked if I was feeling discomfort, my answer, no more than I would expect when someone jams their fingers under my rib cage.

He was a young Endo but I think he went to the same old school. My current endo is not quite as touchy pokey but I’m still wondering how a tele-visit would go. Luckily I won’t have to find out till May.

I actually agree with you and think there is value in hands-on doctoring. But I don’t think it’s routinely needed for me every 90 days. The doctor and I were still able to communicate reading facial expressions and tone of voice as well as the face value of our words. It was not as limited in bandwidth as the TuD medium is. Once per year face-to-face appointment or as needed is good enough for me.

I felt like this tele-health visit was entirely appropriate given the threat to my health of an office visit in today’s contagious environment. We’re all different in our medical needs and communication styles. There is no right or wrong answer here, just what feels best for each of us and our doctors.

If I didn’t have to satisfy the Medicare rules, I would see my doctor once per year providing I could make an appointment in between the annual visits when needed.

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Here is a link for a pdf of the policy change released by CMS.

https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet

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We spend summers in NJ and winters in SC. My endo is in NJ and I never had a problem meeting the 3 month visit policy.
My next appt is April when we were going to fly to NJ to spend Easter. At this point I don’t think that will happen.
I called Medicare today to see if they would waive the 3 month visit.
They said rules are rules and I would have to do a telehealth visit? I have never done one and am not sure if my endo does? With all that is going on you would think Medicare would be a little more flexible.