Patients are increasingly demanding the convenience of telehealth and see no difference in quality. Many healthcare providers are confused about telemedicine compliance and the standards of care guidelines as well as reimbursement guidelines. An important thing for medical professionals to keep in mind is that health standards stay the same as traditional delivery systems.
Telemedicine is no longer viewed as an auxiliary option of care. Given the favorable regulatory changes such as telemedicine reimbursement guidelines, many healthcare professionals are embracing telehealth service to patients. In addition, patients do not see a difference in the quality of care — and neither should providers!
Healthcare providers can naturally and strategically apply telehealth standard of care guidelines while maintaining HIPAA compliance. In fact, many health centers are offering patient clinical consultations through HIPAA compliant video chat technology. Moreover, video consultations for follow-up care have become a popular option in rural areas where access to care is minimal.
Yet, the complex reimbursement structures can create frustrating obstacles for healthcare organizations interested in incorporating programs like telehealth. Making sense of how billable codes works has become healthcare’s Gordian knot, impossible for providers to unravel or understand.
Most commercial insurance companies and health plans such as Blue Cross Blue Shield cover telehealth services to some degree. Just be sure to check with patients’ insurers to determine if they cover telehealth appointments originating from home. And with respect to Medicaid, the law gives states and gives providers considerable flexibility.
Providers can begin to bill Medicaid for telemedicine services today! Unfortunately, Medicare’s reimbursement guidelines for physicians and patients have many restrictions. But the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 enacted many major changes for telemedicine policy under Medicare.
For instance, telemedicine services under Medicare will cover some home dialysis services. It will also extend coverage for telestroke consultations to rural AND non-rural locations.
Overall, health care policy changes to telemedicine reimbursement guidelines offer enhanced quality of care and access to healthcare services. Furthermore, patient acceptance of these services suggests that telemedicine standard of care is on par with other delivery systems. Click here to learn more about how telemedicine is transforming and reinventing healthcare.