CMS Now Reimburses Telephone E/M Visits on Par with Office Visits

CMS has recently announced updates to its reimbursement strategy to further accomodate physicians who are providing remote care due to the coronavirus outbreak. A broad range of clinicians, including physicians, can now provide certain services bytelephone to their patients. These changes are retroactive to services provided since March 1.

According to CMS' published guidelines:

Medicare payment for the telephone evaluation and management visits (CPT codes99441-99443) is equivalent to the Medicare payment for office/outpatient visits with established patients effective March 1, 2020.

When clinicians are furnishing an evaluation and management (E/M) service that wouldotherwise be reported as an in-person or telehealth visit, using audio-only technology, practitioners may bill using these telephone E/M codes provided that it is appropriate to furnish the service using audio-only technology and all of the required elements in the applicable telephone E/M code (99441-99443) description are met.

Using new waiver authority, CMS is also allowing many behavioral health and education services to be furnished via telehealth using audio-only communications. The full list of telehealth services notes which services are eligible to be furnished via audio-only technology, including the telephone evaluation and management visits. Click the link below to view the list on the CMS website:

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions regarding your billing, including telehealth and telephone only services and coding.