Billing for direct-to-consumer telehealth
If you decide to provide direct-to-consumer telehealth services and accept health insurance, you will have to learn about the rules and regulations for billing and reimbursement.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Medicare program, state Medicaid programs, and private insurers have expanded coverage for telehealth. Most insurance companies cover some telehealth services, often including on-demand telemedicine. As a rule, you should verify each insurance policy and ask patients to look into their coverage before a virtual visit.
During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Medicare covers a wide range of telehealth services, including virtual check-ins with a provider via phone or telehealth platform, and e-visits through an online patient portal — many of which are considered direct-to-consumer telehealth.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid maintains an up-to-date list of telehealth services. It is important to remember that some of these services are temporary additions during the COVID-19 public health emergency, and may change after the official emergency is lifted.
Many changes to COVID-19 reimbursement rules also cover on-demand telehealth. They include specific information related to virtual or audio-only visits.