Our last Telemedicine dashboard update included detail showing that overall encounters decreased while telehealth visits climbed to unprecedented levels for telehealth.  The report came out on 08/18/2020.  Our dashboard of over 9,000 providers now shows a steady increase in patient visits, but volumes are still 25% below pre-pandemic numbers.  We’ll need to continue to monitor this to determine whether it’s the new normal or whether the provider’s need to work harder to promote telehealth.  Our last report showed that the daily peak for telehealth was 12,700 visits on May 4th.  Although telehealth visits have trended down as much as 20 to 30%, on July 23rd telehealth visits spiked to over 13,100 reaching the highest single day telehealth peak for 2020.

With the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursing for remote care models, adoption of telehealth has continued to rapidly advance as physicians strive to overcome barriers to continuity of care and maintaining operations amid stay-at-home orders. 

For some practices, telehealth is still unchartered territory that poses some notable risks for reimbursement.  Providers must adopt best practices and have processes in place that ensure complete, accurate capture of documentation necessary to support coding and billing activities. Doing so will not only ensure billing compliance, but also provides a boost to the bottom line at a time when it is desperately needed where overall encounters have remained below the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are some Telehealth Reimbursement Best Practices: