|CMS Announces Medicare Telehealth Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services
Michigan Expansion Already in Place
After efforts were announced in Michigan to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by expanding telehealth services and payments, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries effective March 6, 2020. To view the press release and fact sheet, please click here.What does that mean for your practice?
Under this new waiver, Medicare can pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth including in patients' places of residence. Physicians, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers will be able to offer telehealth to their patients. The waiver extends to the three types of telehealth services: telehealth visits, virtual check-ins, and e-visits. For a guide of what codes and patient relationships are covered, click on the image graph.Governor Whitmer waived Medicaid co-pays and cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing on March 12. Michigan also expanded access to telemedicine for Medicaid beneficiaries and stated in its press release that "insurance plans like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network of Michigan, Priority Health, Meridian, CVS Health, McLaren, and Health Alliance Plan also announced that they will cover and encourage the use of virtual care and telemedicine, as well as waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing."
Interested in learning how to implement telehealth services in your practice?The AMA has developed a quick guide to support providers in expanding telemedicine services for their practices. Tips on policy, coding, and payment; practice implementation; and support resources are linked here.