CMS Advancing Virtual Care

CMS is modernizing the Medicare program by using technologies, such as audio/video applications or patient-facing health portals. Provisions in the proposed CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule would support access to care using telecommunications technology.

Actions to support access to care includes:

  • Paying clinicians for virtual check-ins, which would be brief, non-face-to-face appointments via communications technology
  • Paying clinicians for evaluation patients-submitted photos
  • Expanding Medicare-covered telehealth services to include prolonged preventative services


CMS has also initiated a new secure way of accessing program data via virtual access to the “CMS Virtual Research Data Center” (VRDC). VRDC, is a virtual research environment providing timelier access to Medicare and Medicaid program data in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

VRDC enables researchers to upload external data files into their work space, provides access to the research identifiable files by providing access through a Virtual Private Network and virtual desktop.

For more information on ResDAC and to connect to VRDC, go to


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