In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, many commercial payers have announced temporary updates to their telehealth policies that make it easier for physicians and patients to connect without the need for an office visit.
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Most of these updates are aligned with the recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services changes that relaxed originating site requirements and HIPAA enforcement around secure audiovisual applications. Many payers have committed to reimbursing providers at the same rate as a face-to-face office visit; some are also extending coverage for audio-only or telephone visits.
The ACR has created a chart of the temporary changes to commercial payers’ telehealth policies. This resource also includes details on payer-specific requirements for the use of telehealth-associated modifiers (GT, GQ, G0 and 95). Practices are advised to continue verifying individual patients’ benefits as payers have noted that benefits may vary for certain employer-funded health plans.
It has also been brought to ACR’s attention that some malpractice insurance carriers may not provide coverage for telehealth services. Practices are encouraged to contact their carriers to confirm coverage.