Query: Has the Medicare telemedicine record modified for 2022?
Reply: As Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Companies (CMS) continues to guage the inclusion of telehealth providers that have been quickly added to the Medicare telehealth providers record in the course of the COVID-19 public well being emergency, they’ve finalized that sure providers added to the Medicare telehealth providers record will stay on the record by way of December 31, 2023.
It will permit further time for CMS to guage whether or not every service ought to be completely added to the Medicare telehealth providers record.
CMS finalized that they may lengthen, by way of the tip of CY 2023, the inclusion on the Medicare telehealth providers record of sure providers added quickly to the telehealth providers record that may in any other case have been faraway from the record as of the later of the tip of the COVID-19 PHE or December 31, 2021. In addition they have prolonged inclusion of sure cardiac and intensive cardiac rehabilitation codes by way of the tip of CY 2023. It will permit for extra time for CMS to collect information to determine whether or not or not every telehealth service will likely be completely added to the Medicare telehealth providers record.
Moreover, CMS is adopting coding and fee for an extended digital check-in service on a everlasting foundation.
Part 123 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) eliminated the geographic restrictions and added the house of the beneficiary as a permissible originating website for telehealth providers furnished for the needs of prognosis, analysis or remedy of a psychological well being dysfunction. Part 123 requires for these providers that there should be an in-person, non-telehealth service with the doctor or practitioner inside six months previous to the preliminary telehealth service and an in-person, non-telehealth go to should be furnished not less than each 12 months for these providers.
Exceptions to the in-person go to requirement could also be made primarily based on beneficiary circumstances (with the rationale documented within the affected person’s medical document), and that extra frequent visits are additionally allowed below the coverage, as pushed by scientific wants on a case-by-case foundation.
CMS has amended the present definition of interactive telecommunications system for telehealth providers (which is outlined as multimedia communications tools that features, at a minimal, audio and video tools allowing two-way, real-time interactive communication between the affected person and distant website doctor or practitioner) to embody audio-only communications expertise when used for telehealth providers for the prognosis, analysis or remedy of psychological well being issues furnished to established sufferers of their houses below sure circumstances.
CMS is limiting the usage of an audio-only interactive telecommunications system to psychological well being providers furnished by practitioners who’ve the aptitude to furnish two-way, audio/video communications, however the place the beneficiary shouldn’t be able to, or doesn’t consent to, the usage of two-way, audio/video expertise.
CMS additionally finalized a requirement for the usage of a brand new modifier for providers furnished utilizing audio-only communications, which might serve to confirm that the practitioner had the aptitude to supply two-way, audio/video expertise, however as an alternative, used audio-only expertise resulting from beneficiary selection or limitations. They’re additionally clarifying that psychological well being providers can embody providers for remedy of substance use issues (SUDs).
The brand new modifier — Modifier 93 – Synchronous Telemedicine Service Rendered By way of Phone or Different Actual-Time Interactive Audio-Solely Telecommunications System – is efficient January 1, 2022.
“Synchronous telemedicine service” is outlined as a real-time interplay between a doctor or different certified well being care skilled (QHP) and a affected person who’s positioned away at a distant website from the doctor or different QHP. The totality of the communication of knowledge exchanged between the doctor/QHP and the affected person in the course of the course of the synchronous telemedicine service should be of an quantity and nature that’s adequate to satisfy the important thing elements and/or necessities of the identical service when rendered through a face-to-face interplay.
Renee Dowling is a compliance auditor for Sansum Clinic, LLC, in Santa Barbara, California.