Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY
On Friday, the President signed into law a $8 billion emergency funding bill that included $500 million towards Medicare telehealth, including telemental health services, because this is a declared emergency. There are a few caveats (see below).
The good news: this bill allows the HHS Secretary to waive current Medicare telehealth restrictions (originating/geographic sites) on telemental health during the COVID-19 public health emergency, so that care can be provided regardless of where a patient is located, including at home.
The other news: a qualifying provider, like licensed clinical social workers, needs to have provided a service to an eligible beneficiary in the last three years—so this can only be applied to existing, or recent, patients. Additionally, the telemental health services can only be provided through videoconferencing, not telephone only.
Place of service should be 02 for telehealth. The GT modifier is no longer necessary, but 95 is still needed. CPT codes should be as for an office visit.
This is overall good news and CSWA will work to make it a permanent option.
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