U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Best practice guide

Telehealth for emergency departments

Billing for telehealth in emergency departments

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, additional emergency care services are covered by Medicare as telehealth. Other related services, such as remote patient monitoring and e-consults, are not considered telehealth for billing purposes, but are reimbursable.

Medicare billing guidance

Below are common codes used to bill for these services. Note: some of these services are temporarily covered during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Category Billing and telehealth CPT codes

Emergency department

Evaluation and management: 99281, 99282, 99283, 99284, 99285

Critical care

First hour: 99291

Additional 30 min: 99292

Observation services

Discharge: 99217

Initial: 99218, 99219, 99220

Subsequent: 99224, 99225, 99226

Observation / discharge on same day: 99234, 99235, 99236

Hospital discharge day management

Less than 30 minutes: 99238

30 minutes or more: 99239

E-consults (interprofessional consults)

Verbal and written report: 99446, 99447, 99448, 99449

Written report only: 99451

Remote patient monitoring

99453, 99454 — 16 day minimum monitoring requirement is waived during the COVID-19 public health emergency (2 days minimum)

99457, 99458, 99091

Tip: Services provided virtually while the provider and patient are in the same location — for instance, over a tablet from different rooms within a hospital — are not billed as telehealth.

For more details about billing and reimbursement:

  • See the complete list of telehealth services covered by Medicare during the public health emergency from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services


While each state is different, most have expanded coverage for telehealth due to COVID-19. Many are now matching Medicare’s telehealth coverage. Check your state’s current laws and reimbursement policies to see what is covered. For updates on COVID-19 reimbursement and related Medicaid codes and procedures for your state, see:

Private insurance

Many code changes for COVID-19 care cover telehealth and include specific information for visits that are video- or audio-only. It is important to note that most states distinguish between reimbursement standards for permanent telehealth policies and temporary COVID-19 reimbursement policies. For tips on coding private insurance claims, see:

Have a question?

Contact the staff at the regional telehealth resource center that’s closest to you for help with your telehealth program.

Sign up for email updates

Get updates on telehealth
delivered to your inbox.