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Best practice guide for health care providers

Telehealth for emergency departments
For providers Telehealth for emergency departments

Billing Medicare for use of 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 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

Tip: For help setting up billing and reimbursement for a new service, contact the National Telehealth Policy Resource Center exit disclaimer icon .

Last updated: December 17, 2020