The average Medicare patient received about $2,000 in telehealth reimbursement in fiscal year 2017, down from $4,000 just four years earlier, according to Medicare data released on Tuesday.
The data also show the average reimbursement for Medicare telehealth service providers declined about 25 percent from $6,000 to $2.7 million.
The federal government pays telehealth providers for telehealth information they collect from Medicare patients, which can include information such as whether a patient has insurance or medical conditions.
Telehealth providers typically charge about 15 percent of Medicare patient costs.
But the data also showed that Medicare beneficiaries receiving telehealth coverage in fiscal 2017 also received about a third of the federal government’s telehealth spending.
In fiscal 2017, the average telehealth provider collected about $7,500 from Medicare.
That’s down from about $10,000 four years ago.
The average reimbursement was lower than the same period in fiscal 2016, when Medicare received $12,500 for telephonic service, down about $1,000 from the $18,000 Medicare was spending in fiscal 2015.
In recent years, Medicare has been increasing its telehealth payments as more beneficiaries get coverage.
The Medicare data comes as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to release a set of telehealth rules that would expand telehealth offerings.
The Federal Communications Board (FCB), the federal agency that oversees the telecommunications industry, is expected to release its proposed rules next week.