Telehealth Update on Reimbursable Services & Telephone Billing Codes

The pandemic has brought new and creative ways to utilize telehealth for individuals who require medical services. As the health industry continues to evolve, legislation is quickly catching up with frequent updates on new billing codes, audio-only visits, and telehealth services made reimbursable. To help healthcare leaders and providers remain up-to-date with these constant changes, our wonderful team members, Annie and Tom, share their insights on telehealth and telephone service changes during COVID-19.

As intriguing and exciting as telephone billing codes and lists of reimbursable telehealth services are to read, we’ve decided to condense down the information into a more digestible format.

Telehealth Services Added During COVID-19

In this video, Annie Walls, our Licensing & Credentialing Manager, created a list of telehealth services reimbursable by Medicare. Annie walks us through how to decipher the below PDF.

Medicare Telehealth Services-1

Read our PDF here: Iris CMS Telehealth Services List

The PDF lists the respective codes and descriptors for each telehealth service added during COVID-19. It also specifies whether this will be a temporary addition to the list or will remain in effect post-COVID-19. For those interested in audio-only technology, the PDF indicates which services are eligible to be reimbursed.

Billing for Telephone Services

In this video, Dr. Tom Milam, our Chief Medical Officer, shares with us new billing codes for telephone services as of April 30th, 2020. In the video, Tom references three telephone billing codes from the below PDF.

Telephone Billing Codes_Blog

Read our PDF here: Iris CMS Telephone Billing Guide

In summary:

Upgrade in reimbursement modeling for telephone

  1. Codes can be used for established patients and new patient evaluations
  2. Reimbursement rate has increased almost three times the original rate
Code Minutes Per Visit Cost Change
99441 5 - 10 minutes

                                   Original: $14

Update: $46 

99442 11 - 20 minutes

                                       Original: $28

Update: $76

99443 21 - 30 minutes

                                   Original: $41

 Update: $110

  1. The Provider must document verbal consent for telephone encounters indicating why audio-only was used instead of using video or conducting in-person visits

Codes are from March 1st, 2020, and now considered as telehealth services. Therefore, modifier 95 is optional to use.

We Are Here For You

As always, we at Iris are here for you and your organization for anything you may need. We are more than happy to clarify any of the above information, answer your COVID-19 or non-related pandemic questions, and set-up a meeting with you to discuss your needs for a telepsychiatry program.

To learn more about our organization and to talk directly to one of our team members, please email us at info@iristelehealth.com

About Iris Telehealth

Iris Telehealth is a telepsychiatry provider organization made up of the highest quality psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Our mission is to provide underserved communities with access to the best mental health specialists and prescribers. We are owned and operated by doctors who understand what patients need and have earned a reputation for providing outstanding customer service. Iris values building strong professional relationships with our partners and their staff. We are dedicated to understanding your organization’s needs and operational goals because we recognize that your success is critical to our own.

References

List of Telehealth Services. (2020, April 30). Retrieved May 07, 2020, from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/Telehealth/Telehealth-Codes