Archive for September 2014

Sept 2014 – How do I get paid for Telemedicine?

Sept 2014 – How do I get paid for Telemedicine?

PBTRC Short Article

 

Deborah Birkmire-Peters, PhD, Director, Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center, facilitated a session entitled “How Do I Get Paid for Telemedicine?” at the 2014 Hawaii Health Workforce Summit: Building the Future held on September 6, 2014 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.  The panel included Dr. David Wong, a dermatologist who lives in California and provides teledermatology services to patients in Hawaii.  David Wong, MD, CEO and Co-Founder, Direct Dermatology, explained that his services include store-and-forward and confirmed that he receives reimbursement for these services from Medicare. David Barton, MD, provided a description of how he provides telehealth services for pain management using a Cisco technology for video teleconferencing.   Dan Ulrich, MD, a Pediatrician and Psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Hawaii Department of Health Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division, reported that psychiatrists are successfully billing for telehealth services including: assessment, monitoring, individual and family therapy.  He confirmed that regarding malpractice The Doctors Company and MIEC are known carriers that cover services provided via telehealth.  He emphasized the need to check with your carrier for special provisions, e.g., advance notice of providing service via telehealth.   Bonnie Preston, MSPH,an Outreach and Policy Specialist with HHS Region IX, provided a presentation remotely and focused on Medicare Telehealth policies.  She reported that in 2013 Medicare reimbursed about a total of $1,194 for telehealth services in Hawaii, of which none were store-and-forward.  Comparatively, Medicare reimbursed Alaska $25,000 for telehealth of which $500 were store-and-forward services.  There was lively discussion from the audience indicating much interest in the panel and very specifically “How to I get paid for telehealth? “

 

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Telehealth makes the 2014 HIMSS top three priority list for Recommendation to Congress

Telehealth makes the 2014 HIMSS top three priority list for Recommendation to Congress

September 2014 – The expansion of telehealth services to improve patient access and outcomes and reduce health care cost is one of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) top three “Congressional Asks” for 2014. The official release states that HIMSS works with stakeholders to develop their organizational priorities and recommendations for the U.S. Congress. The HIMSS specific and actionable requests will be presented to Congress during the annual HIMSS Public Policy Summit on September 18, 2014. These are the top three HIMSS congressional requests:

* Minimize Disruption in our Nation’s Health System Emanating from Federally-Mandated Health IT Program Changes
* Fund the National Coordinator for Health IT to Achieve Interoperability, Improve Clinical Quality, and Ensure Patient Privacy and Safety
* Expand Telehealth Services to Improve Patient Access and Outcomes and Decrease Healthcare Costs

The telehealth related recommendation specifically states, “to expand access to quality care, help control costs, enhance secure interoperability of health information, and improve quality for rural and underserved populations, Congress should pass legislation that enables the nationwide realization of the full benefits of telehealth services.”

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Inclusion of telemedicine in VA overhaul bill draws praise

 

Telemedicine, much to the delight of some health industry observers, is a prominent part of legislation allocating $16.3 billion to overhaul the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The proposed bill, which sailed through the House on a 420-5 vote, requires that all VA mobile vet centers and mobile medical centers have the capability to provide telemedicine services. The bill also requires an annual report be sent to Congress outlining the use of telemedicine by such centers.

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