Upcoming Webinar: Telehealth for Physical and Occupational Therapy
March 25, 2020 at 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT
April 1, 2020 at 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT
Telehealth and Other Communication-Based Technology Services
Beneficiaries can communicate with their doctors or certain other practitioners without necessarily going to the doctor’s office in person for a full visit.
Since 2018, Medicare pays for “virtual check-ins” for patients to connect with their doctors without going to the doctor’s office. These brief, virtual check-in services are for patients with an established relationship with a physician or certain practitioners where the communication is not related to a medical visit within the previous 7 days and does not lead to a medical visit within the next 24 hours (or soonest appointment available). The patient must verbally consent to using virtual check-ins and the consent must be documented in the medical record prior to the patient using the service. The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would apply to these services.
Doctors and certain practitioners may bill for these virtual check-in services furnished through several communication technology modalities, such as telephone (HCPCS code G2012) or captured video or image (HCPCS code G2010).
Medicare also pays for patients to communicate with their doctors without going to the doctor’s office using online patient portals. The individual communications, like the virtual check ins, must be initiated by the patient; however, practitioners may educate beneficiaries on the availability of this kind of service prior to patient initiation. The communications can occur over a 7-day period. The services may be billed using CPT codes 99421-99423 and HCPCS codes G2061-G206, as applicable. The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would apply to these services.
In addition, Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas may use communication technology to have full visits with their physicians. The law requires that these visits take place at specified sites of service, known as telehealth originating sites, and receive services using a real-time audio and video communication system at the site to communicate with a remotely located doctor or certain other types of practitioners. Medicare pays for many medical visits through this telehealth benefit. Certain beneficiaries, such as those needing a monthly end-stage renal disease visit or those needing treatment for substance use disorders or co-occurring mental health disorder may access telehealth services from their home without traveling to an originating site.
The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would apply to these services.
Medicare also pays doctors for certain non-face-to-face care management services and remote patient monitoring services. The Medicare coinsurance and deductible would apply to these services.
CMS Fact Sheet Coverage and Payment Related to COVID-19 Medicare Posted March 3, 2020