One of the nation’s largest insurers is changing its telehealth reimbursement policy this year. As of Jan. 1, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has made the following changes to its commercial plans:
Under UHC guidelines, telehealth services must be live, interactive audio and video visits, and recognized by:
From Jan. 1, 2021, through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, UHC’s Medicare Advantage plans will align with the CMS telehealth services and guidelines, including allowing certain telehealth services when the patient is at home.
UHC’s new policy also addresses other forms of clinician-patient electronic communication, including virtual check-ins, remote patient monitoring, and E-visits (non-face-to-face, member-initiated communications with providers using online patient portals). For more information, see the policy.
Cigna, another large private insurer, has also changed its telehealth policies for 2021.
— Brennan Cantrell, commercial health insurance strategist, American Academy of Family Physicians
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