What You Should Know About Billing for Telemedicine Services
Make sure you're properly compensated for your services.
Read Time: 2.5 minutes
Jan 2, 2021
Jan 2, 2021
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, telemedicine offers medical practices the ability to continue caring for their patients both with and without COVID-19. In order to mitigate exposure of patients who are sick or at-risk due to other conditions and to protect the healthcare workers and community, practices are strongly encouraged to use telemedicine and telehealth services whenever possible. They are also encouraged to consider establishing protocols and procedures for use by practice staff and clinicians. Now in a full state of emergency, Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance restrictions related to telemedicine have been lifted.
Patients can be at home and non-HIPAA compliant technology is now allowed.There is no cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing. In addition, to encourage use by patients, Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurances are allowing practices to waive cost-sharing (copays and deductibles) for all telehealth services. Many prior authorization activities are being paused. There is one caveat here. It seems patients who have been tested for CORVID-19 and have a diagnosis code related to CORVID-19 will have their co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles waived. With this said there are payers who are waiving all patient cost-sharing but it is on a plan by plan basis.
The Basics of Billing for Telemedicine Services
Telemedicine billing seems to change from day to day, by the payer and by state. While all payers have some form of formal policy in place for how to bill for telemedicine, the COVID-19 impact on insurance is changing almost daily to meet the needs of so many specialties that normally would not need to use these services.There are a few items to discuss what to expect from different payers, regardless of the state they are in.