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2019 covid has brought new telehealth rules in 2020

This article was published in the July  issue of Nephrology Times and written by our own Sarah Tolson, Director of Operations.

Physician offices and dialysis facilities alike have been scrambling to provide their patients with the best possible care, minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for both patients and caregivers, and comply with ever-changing state and federal safety guidelines during this public health emergency. Insurance companies have also made changes to facilitate contact-free access to healthcare for their members. Medicare released a list of 239 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes that are payable under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule when they are furnished via telehealth. Most insurance companies have followed Medicare’s lead and expanded their list of covered telehealth services to allow patients more flexibility in accessing healthcare. Now, more than any time in our history, people are receiving healthcare via telehealth.

Along with all the changes in covered services, there have been changes in the billing requirements for telehealth services. Now, it is critical to stay up to date on billing regulations and requirements. Not only has the number of patient visits dwindled in many practices, but staff being unfamiliar with current telehealth billing requirements can result in a loss of revenue. There are three steps that can be followed by billing staff to ensure maximum reimbursement is obtained for telehealth services during this time of change.

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