Telehealth: 3 FAQ’s

Q: How do I choose the level of E/M service provided via Telehealth if I am not providing an actual Physical Exam?
A: Think about all of the information you can obtain from through observation and communication rather than physical exam (example: ask the patient to walk, dorsi-flex, apply pressure to check for capillary fill time, etc.). Under these circumstances it is advised to choose a level of visit based on MDM (Medical Decision Making) and time spent prior to, during and
following the virtual visit.

Q: What is the difference between Virtual Check-ins and Telephone Services?
A: Not a whole lot. Prior to the pandemic Virtual Check-ins were covered by Medicare while Telephone Services were not. The G2012 and G2010 codes (Virtual Check-ins) are Medicare only codes. Telehealth services (99441, 99442, 99443) are now covered by Medicare and many private payers and reimburse at higher rates than the G codes. Always check for coverage by
private carriers as well as POS and modifier requirements prior to billing.

Q: When billing for Telehealth services, are we required to copy and paste emails or texts received and sent to patients and to record telephone, Facetime calls or Zoom meetings for incorporation into the patient’s chart?
A: No (as per the updated CMS Non-Face-to-Face Services Guidelines). Document just as you would for any E/M service provided under normal circumstances. Don’t overthink it. Coverage and guidelines for these services have been expanded due to the pandemic and will continue to
be for quite some time. The point is to provide non-face-to-face services whenever possible in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 in the office.

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