There has been an unprecedented shift towards telehealth across healthcare disciplines. As such, to ensure providers stay financially stable, it is essential they appropriately deliver and document their services in compliance with Medicare and health coverage systems. This helps to ensure that their services are being successfully reimbursed.
In a recent article by Medical Economics, Jason Mehta outlines advice for practitioners hoping to stay in compliance with Medicare throughout the COVID-19 pandemic:
Upgrade documentation procedures: Have service notes and templates clearly document that visit occurred via telehealth, what methods of communication were used (e.g., telephonic, audio-visual, asynchronous), the percentage of the visit completed via audio-visual (A/V), justification of services provided, and necessary content about each visit (e.g., assessment, interventions, plans).
Provide ongoing informed consent to patients, explicitly describing what the use of telehealth will consist of and risks associated (e.g., HIPAA-compliance, data privacy issues; lack of in-person assessment by provider; technological glitches/failures).
Check both federal and state laws surrounding telehealth. For instance, ensuring telephonic and/or A/V sessions are being reimbursed, what telehealth service rates are, whether an authorized originating site is needed, and whether HIPAA-compliance restrictions are still being waved.