March 20, 2020

CMS COVID-19 Call with Physicians

Here are some key takeaways from CMS' COVID-19 Call with Physicians Wednesday evening:

Thanks in large part of ACEP's advocacy efforts, CMS will soon be issuing revised EMTALA guidance that allows medical screening exams to be delivered via telehealth. This was one of ACEP's major asks in our letter to the HHS Secretary.

CMS discussed the telehealth guidance that was issued earlier this week. For Medicare, here is the official guidance:  

  • Emergency physicians can perform telehealth services from any location, including the ED. They can bill office/outpatient E/M services (CPT codes 99201-99215) or any other code on the list of approved Medicare telehealth services. Some of the other codes on the list that are commonly billed include: psychiatric diagnostic evaluations (CPT codes 90791-90792), psychotherapy for crisis (CPT codes 90839-90840) and critical care consult G-codes (HCPCS codes G0508-G0509). ED E/M codes (CPT codes 99281-99285) are NOT on the list of approved Medicare telehealth services and therefore cannot be used. The place of service code for telehealth services is "02," which means the ED setting (POS 23) wouldn't be submitted on the claim.     

CMS is recommending delaying all adult elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures during the COVID-19 response. 

CMS will soon be delaying Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) reporting requirements. As of Wednesday night, CMS couldn't address the specifics, but it is coming. This was also one of ACEP's major asks in our letter to the HHS Secretary.

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