The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) supports enhanced-access physician-patient interactions, including virtual/electronic visits or “e-visits” which occur over safe, secure, online communication systems. AAFP defines an e-visit as an evaluation and management service provided by a physician or other qualified health professional to an established patient using a web-based or similar electronic-based communication network for a single patient encounter.
Guidelines for e-visits:
- e-visits are available only to established patients who have previously received care from the physician’s practice;
- electronic communication occurs over a HIPAA-compliant online connection;
- an e-visit includes the total interchange of online inquiries and other communications associated with this single patient encounter;
- the physician appropriately documents the e-visits, including all pertinent communication related to the encounter, in the patient’s medical/health record;
- the physician or other qualified health professional has a defined period of time within which responses to an e-visit request are completed; and
- e-visits should be a payable physician service.
(2008) (2013 COD)