QUESTION: We run an acute care hospital. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have allowed some of our practitioners to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries via telehealth. These Medicare beneficiaries are receiving services in their homes that they would normally receive in the hospital’s outpatient department. What does the recent interim final rule from CMS say about the practitioner’s ability to bill for this sort of arrangement?
ANSWER: Effective March 1, 2020, when a practitioner who ordinarily practices in a hospital outpatient department furnishes a telehealth service to a patient who is located at home, they may submit a professional claim with the place of service code indicating that the service was furnished in the hospital’s outpatient department. Medicare will then pay the practitioner under the Physician Fee Schedule at the facility rate (as though the service had been provided in the hospital’s outpatient department).
The interim final rule contains further details about the hospital’s ability to bill for its services. To access the interim final rule, click here. For a general overview of recent Medicare telehealth developments, click here.