To assist the many providers who still have questions on how to be properly reimbursed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for Telephone E/M Services (99441-99443) during the public health emergencies (COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura), CMS has a YouTube video that provides further guidance on Medicare Coverage and Payment of Virtual Services. CMS expects these services to be initiated by the patient and suggests that providers educate patients on their availability.
As a reminder, in its March 30 Interim Final Rule, CMS established separate payment for audio-only telephone evaluation and management services (99441-99443). After establishing the separate payment for these services, CMS discovered that the use of audio-only services is more prevalent than projected, and that the telephone services are being used in place of in-person or telehealth visits. Therefore, CMS increased RVUs for these codes.
|Audio-only Telephone E/M CPT code||Previous Work RVUs||New Work RVUs|
The telephone codes also have been added to the list of Medicare telehealth services for the duration of the public health emergency. CMS offers a list of services payable under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule when furnished via telehealth during the public health emergency.