Understanding Facility Telehealth vs. Patient Telehealth

Understanding Facility Telehealth vs. Patient Telehealth

There is a misconception when a healthcare provider hears the word telehealth. Unfortunately, when some providers hear the word “telehealth” they think of physician-to-physician communication instead of physician-to-patient. The former is an essential ingredient for the transfer of nuanced information. But doctor-to-doctor communication not covered in the upcoming billable codes approved by Congress. While physician-to-patient communication is the subject of a slew of new laws concerning telehealth reimbursement. For example, starting January 1st, 2009, physicians can claim a telehealth originating site facility fee for home dialysis for patients on Medicare. On this week’s Coffee with Carrie, we will clear up common misunderstandings and discuss video telehealth benefits for patients from a physician’s perspective.

Video Telehealth Benefits for Patients

The quality of care and patient experience can suffer without effective, timely communication between physicians. Physicians know that failure to get information about a patient’s condition from other doctors could have a negative impact. This is why communication between physicians should be encouraged and improved with video telehealth technology.

However, forward-thinking providers need to think about how telehealth services can further help their patients. Currently, 10 states already allow providers to claim a telehealth originating site facility fee for a variety of services. This can be an incredibly convenient service for non-emergency medical procedures, such as home dialysis or follow-up care. In addition to what’s billable today, a slew of new billable codes will drop Jan. 1, 2009, that will affect providers across the country.  Therefore, it’s important to educate yourself on all the video telehealth benefits for patients.

Latest News on Billable Codes

Thanks to the federal Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, providers can begin to bill for telehealth services today! Some video telehealth benefits for patients included expanded telehealth coverage or strokes, improved oversight to telehealth-enabled dialysis and permitted Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to include delivery of video telehealth services. Moreover, Congress is currently drafting new policies to expand telehealth services and enhance the patient experience under Medicare. Starting in 2019, the federal government will lift restrictions on geographic and facility-type requirements on originating sites for video telehealth services.

 Click HERE to learn more on patient experience, billable codes + latest webinar on Tips for Successful Telehealth Rollout