U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) increasing reimbursement payments for telephone-based health services to be similar to other audio-visual and in-person reimbursements:

“Expanding telehealth connects patients with providers without fear of endangering physicians or exacerbating the illness of North Dakotans. Today’s action increases the availability of services for those who may not have access to the technology required for video-based telehealth. It also ensures our health care providers are fairly compensated for the important work they are doing. I applaud CMS Administrator Seema Verma, HHS Secretary Azar, and the entire Trump Administration for providing North Dakotans with increased flexibility and access to care.”

This announcement follows Senator Cramer sending a letter with his colleagues this week advocating for this change. CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced the changes earlier today.

“I’m very encouraged that the sacrifices of the American people during the pandemic are working. The war is far from over, but in various areas of the country the tide is turning in our favor,” said Administrator Verma. “Building on what was already extraordinary, unprecedented relief for the American healthcare system, CMS is seeking to capitalize on our gains by helping to safely reopen the American healthcare system in accord with President Trump's guidelines.”

Click here to learn more from CMS.