8 Steps to Start Performing Telemedicine Visits to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Click here to learn about Telehealth Tools provided by MediSYS

1. Notify patients that you will be taking telemedicine visits:

  • Call patients in advance of their appointment and ask if they would prefer a telemedicine visit
  • Or use any other available method such as:
    • Social Media
    • Website banner
    • Letter/Email/Postcard
    • Phone or Text Message
    • Post a Notice in Your Clinic
  • Train staff to encourage patients who request to cancel/reschedule a visit, including wellness visits, to keep the appointment by making it a Telehealth visit.
    • For example, staff may say –
      • Let me change your appointment to telemedicine so that you do not have to come in the office.
      • Annual Wellness Visits and Routine visits are more important than ever.  For now, let’s schedule a telemedicine visit to review / refill medications.  Later we can schedule a time for a physical exam. 

2. Obtain the necessary technology.

  • MediSYS clients using WebChart EHR will have a new, secure telemedicine feature. Contact Us to learn more!
  • OCR has implemented “Enforcement Discretion” with regards to telehealth and remote communications.
    • According to the OCR release: ” A covered health care provider that wants to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any non-public facing remote communication product that is available to communicate with patients. OCR is exercising its enforcement discretion to not impose penalties for noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth using such non-public facing audio or video communication products during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. This exercise of discretion applies to telehealth provided for any reason, regardless of whether the telehealth service is related to the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions related to COVID-19.”
  • List below includes some of the known secure Telemedicine services:

3. Schedule Telemedicine visits as you would normally schedule and staff an office visit.

4. Obtain consent from the patient to perform a telehealth visit. Verbal consent is acceptable during this crisis.

5. E-prescribe prescriptions from within your EHR if available from your vendor and based on state laws.

6. Documentation and Reimbursement:

  • Just like any face-to-face visit; it must be documented in the patient’s medical record.
  • Based on the documentation and the type of service, file the appropriate HCPCS/CPT that you have selected and use POS Code 02.
  • Always document the patient’s consent, even if it is verbal. Many built in telemedicine tools include an on-line consent before starting the visit. If you do not have access to that tool, consider using a service like Adobe E-Sign or Docusign to have patients sign consent forms remotely.
  • Comply with individual payor requirements.

7. Recognize that CMS has three telehealth types of service. Review the CMS Telehealth Tool Kit to help you to understand how these changes will affect your Medicare patients.

8. Call your insurance provider for liability requirements.

*Telemedicine cannot replace all doctor visits as there will always be a need for patients to come to the office for certain visits. However, this may reduce the number of patients in the office and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.