The American Medical Association hasn’t necessarily been against virtual medicine, but they also haven’t really been a huge advocate for it, at least they haven’t put their weight behind any bills.
Now, they have posted a rather comprehensive telemedicine guide on their website. And, as we know, once AMA puts opens their deep pockets, everything changes.
The AMA Telemedicine Guide
It’s a state of emergency so most governors are waiving certain licensing obligations. But that doesn’t mean that some insurance company won’t take you to court in the future.
So, be sure to document the shit out of every visit. If you have a medical practice, you must add this to your Policies and Procedures and make that available on your website.
It’s also an issue right now with lawyers not being caught up on this. Which means many of them aren’t giving their blessings for medical groups to move forward with telemedicine for CMS or for practicing across state lines.
Coding & Payment
In order to be reimbursed you need the right CPT and E/M’s.
However, it’s also a good idea to just label these new telemedicine visits as “telephone visits” in your EMR under the “reason for visit”. This will allow you to go back in before submitting for payment and make any changes you might need.
When in doubt, and once the dust settles, you can hire a coding consultant before submitting your telemedicine claims. This will be cheaper than hiring an in-house or contracting with a 3rd party coding company.
Also, check back in with the AMA telemedicine guide regularly to see what updates they’ll post. And be sure to watch for when the waivers expire so that you don’t bill fraudulently.
People ask me a lot about telemedicine software.
More Coding Resources
Here are a few other websites I’ve found helpful when it comes to coding and billing for telemedicine besides the AMA telemedicine guide.
Remember, it’s only if you are taking insurance – if you’re charging cash for each visit (like I do) you don’t have to worry about any of this shit.
Physicians Practice (great resource for medical biz owners)