Congress has shied away fromexpanding the use of telemedicine in Medicare — even as it hasbecome commonplace among private insurers — because of concernsabout higher spending. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Trump administration wants Medicare for the first time toembrace telemedicine across the country bypaying doctors $14 for a five-minute “check-in” phone call withtheir patients.

But many physicians say the proposed reimbursement will cover a service they already do forfree. And the Medicare reimbursement — intended to motivatedoctors to communicate with patients outside the office — couldhave a chilling effect on patients because they would be requiredto pay a 20 percent cost-sharing charge.

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