Feds loosen telehealth rules for Medicare Advantage plans

A telehealth consultation. Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

New proposed regulations, authorized by President Trump's budget deal from earlier this year, would open the door for Medicare Advantage companies to cover telehealth services for all enrollees starting in 2020.

The bottom line: This rule would give a leg up to the MA program, which is managed by the health insurance industry, since traditional Medicare strictly limits coverage of telehealth. The Congressional Budget Office has worried that telehealth visits will serve as add-on services to in-person clinic visits instead of acting as replacements, thus driving up Medicare spending.

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U.S. evacuates personnel as coronavirus death toll climbs

A health worker checks the temperatures of Chinese travelers arriving in Beijing from Wuhan. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

56 people have died from an outbreak of a coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China, according to the Chinese National Health Commission.

The latest: The U.S. Embassy in Beijing announced plans to evacuate its Wuhan consulate personnel and some private citizens on a limited-capacity charter flight from the city to San Francisco on Tuesday, per AP, which reports that those "at greater risk from coronavirus" would be prioritized over others.

Go deeperArrowJan 20, 2020 - World

Biden maintains nationwide polling lead as Warren support falls

The 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The latest ABC News/Washington Post national poll produced by Langer Research Associates has Joe Biden maintaining his lead with Bernie Sanders claiming second.

Why it matters: Nine days before the Iowa caucuses, Elizabeth Warren’s support among polled Democrats has declined from 21% to 11% since an ABC News/WashPost poll in October.

Andrew Yang qualifies for February debates

Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The next Democratic debate scheduled for Feb. 7 will fall after the Iowa caucuses, four days before the New Hampshire primary, ABC News reports.

The latest: Andrew Yang on Jan. 26 became the seventh Democrat to qualify for the February debate after polling above 5% in UNH/CNN's New Hampshire survey, his fourth qualifying poll.

Go deeperArrowJan 17, 2020 - Politics