In our recent COVID-19 CMO Briefing, Dr. Jeffrey Hyman from the Office of the CMO shared insight into how his practice is working during the pandemic. With many asking questions such as how to best treat their patients, as well as how to properly bill for these services, Dr. Hyman provided helpful information to help you tackle current issues. How practices respond to needs is ever changing, but implementing some of the suggestions covered in the webinar can help make the situation at hand less stressful.

Keeping Patients Focused and Engaged

Patient care is a top concern of all practices. Now more than ever, practices are turning to telehealth to see patients. This decreases the chance of exposure for staff and other patients. Turning routine visits or screenings into telehealth visits ensures your patients are cared for and remain healthy and safe.

It is also important to remember that not every patient is going to come in with COVID-19 related concerns. Other illnesses are continuing to crop up during the pandemic. It is just as pressing that they be treated. Another priority is checking in with chronic care patients. These check ins can also be done via telehealth options and is a billable visit.

Most importantly, patients need to hear from you, maybe now more than ever. If possible, work on outreach for all patients. It’s important to keep them engaged during this time. Leveraging messaging tools or even your practice website with up to date information for patients goes a long way with keeping them healthy.

Billing & Coding

With the recent changes in how telehealth is reimbursed, billing is another big topic. Between practices implementing telehealth and Medicare relaxing its reimbursement rules, there is a lot of confusion. Telehealth can be billed as a regular visit. Doctors just need to speak with patients using audio/video connection or a senior patient or a patient in a rural area and using a telephone. Remember to keep track of the time you’re speaking with a patient in order to properly bill. Use standard office codes whenever possible, including for telehealth visits.

Currently, the place of service for telehealth is “11” for Medicare patients. For most insurances the place of service is “2.”  eMDs is continually updating guides for users to help simplify things. Remember to add modifier -95 to the E/M code. For example, a telehealth visit lasting 10 minutes would be 99213 – modifier 95.

To learn more about billing and coding, as well as what you can do to work with your patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, watch the full webinar here.

This blog post is not a substitute for legal advice. You should verify information using appropriate CMS and private payer resources, attorney, or other billing consultants/experts. Information and Resources are being constantly updated.  Keep yourself informed and stay abreast of developments.