An elderly couple walks down the sidewalk


Medicare Covers Health Coaching

Nandan Rao

As of January, 2024, Medicare now recognizes and covers the services delivered by board-certified health and wellness coaches and educators. Medicare will reimburse for CPT codes 0591T, 0592T, 0593T. These services can be delivered remotely, even audio-only, to anyone covered by Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans.

This is a major milestone for evidence-based preventive health. Our recent literature review turned up 143 published medical studies proving that health coaching is effective in changing patient behavior and improving health: from lowering HbA1c scores, to improving blood pressure, to driving weight loss, health coaching has proven itself to make significant impacts on the outcomes that matters with just one side effect: improved mental health.

Medicare coverage, on its face, allows us to offer our services to everyone above 65 who can’t pay out of pocket. In reality, however, it does much more.

First, it gives a clear signal to everyone that this is an evidence-based practice that is not only effective, but important, in improving their health. Health coaching is not “alternative” medicine, it is mainstream. By inviting people to begin health coaching, we are inviting them to take part in an integral part of the healthcare provided to them in this country.

Second, by restricting the delivery of these services to providers certified by two national organizations, it establishes a clear definition for health coaching. Health coaching is not just whatever happens when someone is available to talk to you about your health. It’s not something that any doctor, nurse, or medical assistant can do if called upon. It is a profession. With its own training, its own science, and its own experts, and its own board certification.

Third, this paves the way for acceptance by commercial payers and Medicaid plans as well. Medicare leads the way. It is only a matter of time, now, before other payers begin accepting these codes and clinics around the country partner with health coaches to deliver comprehensive, whole-person preventive care that goes beyond sick-care and truly begins to look like healthcare. Keeping people healthy by helping them navigate a complex world where food is not always healthy and exercise is not a means of survival but something that we must set aside time to do.

At Kannact, we are excited to answer Medicare’s call. It’s a call we’ve been preparing to answer for years. We have board certified health coaches. We have built software and tools, a whole coaching platform, to deliver the most effective coaching with the most clinically rigorous outcomes reporting and measurement. Our platform provides remote patient monitoring tools to our coaches, along with integrations to EHR systems, pharmacy fulfillment networks, ADT networks, claims data, and labs.

We put the most comprehensive and rigorous data in front of our coaches because we know our coaches do important, valuable, scientific work that we have proven again and again delivers outcomes that match or beat any wonder drug at a fraction of the price.

And now, it seems, CMS knows that too.

Which means we can offer our services directly to patients across the country, working with providers to deliver the behavior-change coaching that they never had the time to deliver but always knew their patients needed.