Advertisement

« Four principles for ... | Main | A checklist for reop... »

Friday May 01, 2020

Two welcome changes for audio-only telephone visits

On April 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued another round of regulatory changes(www.cms.gov) to expand access to care during the COVID-19 public health emergency. One of the key changes was making Medicare payments for audio-only telephone evaluation and management (E/M) visits (CPT codes 99441-99443) equal to payments for comparable office or outpatient visits with established patients (codes 99212-99214). The range of payments will increase from about $14-$41 to about $46-$110, with the changes retroactive to March 1.

CMS also broadened the list of services it will cover as audio-only telephone visits. Noting that some Medicare beneficiaries do not have access to the interactive audio-video technology required for Medicare telehealth services, or choose not to use it, CMS is waiving the video requirement for certain services and adding them to the list of Medicare-covered telehealth services. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries will now be able to use audio-only telephone visits to receive annual wellness visits (G0438-G0439), advance care planning (99497-99498), tobacco and smoking cessation counseling (99406-99407), and many behavioral health and patient education services. See a partial list of covered services below, or download the full list from CMS(www.cms.gov).

CMS has not yet released guidance regarding whether practices will need to rebill affected claims. FPM will post updates as more details are released.

CPT/HCPCS codeDescriptionRVUsIn-personAudio and video
Audio only
CPT/HCPCS code: 99201-99215Description: New and established patient office visits (E/M)
RVUs: 0.18-3.17In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: No
CPT/HCPCS code: 99441-99443Description: Telephone E/M servicesRVUs: 0.48-1.5In-person: NoAudio and video: NoAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0296Description: Counseling to discuss need or LDCT for lung cancer screening
RVUs: 0.52In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0402Description: Welcome to Medicare - Initial Preventive Physical Exam (IPPE)RVUs: 2.43In-person: YesAudio and video: NoAudio only: No
CPT/HCPCS code: G0438Description: Annual wellness visit, includes PPPS, first visitRVUs: 2.43In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0439Description: Annual wellness visit, includes PPPS, subsequent visit
RVUs: 1.5In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: 99495-99496Description: Transitional care management (moderate and high MDM)RVUs: 2.36-3.1In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: No
CPT/HCPCS code: 99497-99498Description: Advance care planningRVUs: 1.5/1.4In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: 99406-99407Description: Smoking and tobacco cessation counseling
RVUs: 0.24/0.50
In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: 99354-99355Description: Prolonged E/M or psychotherapy service, beyond the typical time, direct patient contact
RVUs: 2.33/1.17In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0513-G0514Description: Prolonged preventive services, beyond the typical time, direct patient contact
RVUs: 1.17In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0442Description: Annual alcohol misuse screeningRVUs: 0.18In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0443Description: Brief face-to-face counseling for alcohol misuse, four per year for those who screen positive
RVUs: 0.45In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0444Description: Annual depression screeningRVUs: 0.18In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0445Description: High-intensity behavioral counseling to prevent STI, face-to-face, individual
RVUs: 0.45In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0446Description: Intensive behavioral therapy to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, face-to-face, individual, biannual
RVUs: 0.45In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes
CPT/HCPCS code: G0447Description: Face-to-face behavioral counseling for obesity
RVUs: 0.45In-person: YesAudio and video: YesAudio only: Yes

Source: List of codes compiled by Vinita Magoon, DO, JD, MBA, MPH, CMQ

Insightful, quick-read tips delivered straight to your inbox

Sign up to receive FPM's free, weekly e-newsletter, "Quick Tips & Insights," filled with practical, peer-reviewed advice you can put to work right now to improve patient care, streamline your day, get properly reimbursed, and improve career satisfaction.


Posted at 04:45PM May 01, 2020 by FPM Editors

« Four principles for ... | Main | A checklist for reop... »


CURRENT ISSUE

RECENT POSTS

SEARCH THIS BLOG


TOPICS

DISCLAIMER

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AAFP. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.

FEEDS