Practice FAQs Topics:

Costs and Billing

Quality of Care

Implementing Telehealth

 


 

 

Telehealth Costs and Billing

How much does your telehealth tool cost?


SpringHealthLive is a monthly software subscription service. One low monthly per-doctor fee is the typical arrangement. Talk to our team for a quote on our service.


See: Examining the Costs of Telehealth

 

How is telemedicine reimbursed?


Today, most of the reimbursement hurdles to telemedicine have been lifted at a time when nations are fighting a global pandemic. CMS now provides reimbursement for telehealth services at the same rate as the traditional on-site encounter. Private insurers also reimburse for telehealth services.

See: CMS Expands Telehealth Reimbursement During COVID-19 Pandemic
What to Expect from Telemedicine in 2020?

 

 

How do I bill CMS for Telehealth Services?


  1. A sample of typical codes includes:
  • Medicare Telehealth Visits
  • 99201-99215 Office or outpatient visits.
  • G0425-G0427 Telehealth consultations, initial inpatient, ER
  • G0406-G0408 Follow-up inpatient telehealth consultations furnished to SNFs or hospitals.
  • Virtual Check-ins (established patients only)
  • HCPCS code 62012
  • HCPCS code G2010
  • E-Visits (online patient portals for established patients)
  • 99421-99423
  • G2061-G2063

 

See: CMS Expands Telehealth Reimbursement During COVID-19 Pandemic

 

 


 

 

Patient Quality of Care

 

How can you conduct a medical visit without touching the patient?

 

A clinician can complete all the necessary exam steps during a virtual video encounter, including patient assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. In synchronous (two-way) telemedicine, the interaction between doctor and patient is in real-time, just like it would be in an office setting.

 

During a telemedicine visit, the doctor may use the camera to visually assess the patient. Primary care patients can be treated for minor acute conditions, from back pain, to flu. Post-op after routine surgery can also be conducted virtually. Chronic conditions, including diabetes or mental health issues are also handled online. The patient can be coached to hold their video camera to a certain area of their body so the clinician can visually observe their condition. Connected devices, such as a digital spirometer or otoscope can help when necessary. 

 

See: Telehealth Etiquette—Conducting the Virtual Visit

 

 

Will my patients use telehealth?


The majority of U.S. hospitals already use telemedicine to treat patients with a wide-ranging host of symptoms. More than half of Americans across age demographics say they would be willing to try telehealth. Telemedicine use is increasing, and major medical organizations from the CDC to CMS, and the AAFP and AHA all recommend the use of these tools. In 2020, telehealth usage skyrocketed as part of an effort to slow a global pandemic.

 

See: But Do Patients Want Telehealth? The Survey Says ‘Yes!’
50-State Telehealth Survey Released—Nationwide Study Shows Telemedicine Increasing

 

 

What about telehealth and COVID-19?


Telemedicine has become an important tool in the war against the coronavirus. The CMS and CDC recommend use of telehealth tools to benefit doctors and patients by reducing the risk of virus exposure through enforced social distancing measures. This is particularly true for long-term chronic care patients who need monitoring but are vulnerable when sitting in a crowded waiting room.

 

See: 5 Ways Telemedicine Can Help Your Practice During COVID-19
Can Telemedicine Slow the Coronavirus?

 

 

When would I use telemedicine over a traditional visit?

 

The goal of telehealth is to increase access to care. Many rural patients lack access or must travel long distances to receive the same kind of treatments patients experience in urban settings. Telemedicine is also useful for patients with chronic long-term or orthopedic conditions that would suffer unnecessarily from the rigors of traveling to a distant practice. Telehealth is also useful to provide immediate assessments for on-the-job injuries.

 

Telehealth was never designed to supplant the traditional office or ER visit, instead, it is an additional tool for caregivers to triage cases or to treat non-urgent or chronic conditions. This could include everything from allergies and asthma to flu, remote monitoring of diabetes, or routine post-surgical check-ins.

 

See: 5 Ways Telemedicine Can Help Your Practice During COVID-19

What Do Patients Say About Telemedicine?

 



Implementing Telehealth

 

Do I need asynchronous or synchronous telehealth?


Telehealth utilizes telecommunication hardware and the Internet to support long-distance clinical care. These tools are as close as a patient’s smartphone, and have been proven effective over five decades of use. Telehealth encompasses four categories:

  • Live video or two-way synchronous virtual visits between a person and their caregiver or between two caregivers.
    Suitable for: Non-urgent clinical encounters, patient triage, doctor consults.
  • Store-and-forward asynchronous virtual visits use pre-recorded videos or digital images and the Internet to transmit and store the data.
    Suitable for: Clinical assessments and treatment planning.
  • Remote patient monitoring typically uses a patient sensor device that transmits data over the Internet to a remote caregiver.
    Suitable for: Regular monitoring of stay-at-home chronic care conditions like diabetes.
  • Mobile health (mHealth or eHealth) is a virtual visit conducted through a patient portal or a handheld digital device such as a smartphone or tablet.
    Suitable for: Non-urgent clinical encounters, patient triage, doctor consults.

See: Telemedicine, Telehealth, e-Health—What’s the Difference?


Do I need any special equipment?

Patients and providers need three things to conduct a telehealth visit:

  1. Digital hardware such as smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet.
  2. A reliable Internet connection.
  3. A camera, which could include the built-in technology found on most digital devices today.

The SpringHealthLive application works well on any digital device that transmits on the Internet. Our software downloads quickly and easily and is simple to use.

See: Examining the Costs of Telehealth

 


How does telehealth keep data secure?

The SpringHealthLive telehealth software application follows all HIPAA compliance rules for keeping Patient Health Information (PHI) secure. Data is encrypted both while in transit and at rest.

 

See: E-Health Technology and Data Security
Mobile Device Security—Why It Matters