At the February 2016 meeting of the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Panel, two telemedicine-related proposals were approved for the CPT codebook.

The first proposal approved by the panel describes a new appendix to be added to the CPT codebook. The appendix will list the CPT codes that may be used for reporting synchronous telemedicine services, which will help both payers and providers better understand the types of services, such as evaluation and management services, that can be provided via telemedicine.

The second approved proposal creates a modifier that can be billed with CPT codes to better indicate to a payer when a service has been provided by telemedicine. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has an existing “GT” modifier for this purpose. The new CPT modifier will be included in the CPT codebook and will be available for use by all payers.

These two proposals reflect great steps toward standardization of coding and billing for telemedicine services. It is critically important that such standardization is available to providers as telemedicine becomes a more broadly accepted mechanism for providing high quality care to patients.