Insurance Payments for Telemedicine Visits Extended to September
By David Doolittle

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Texas-regulated insurers must continue to pay for telemedicine services, including mental health visits, at the same rate as in-person visits through Sept. 12, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) said today.

TDI announced it is extending the requirement that was part of an emergency rule that has been in place since March. It was set to expire July 14.

Under the emergency rule, state-regulated health insurers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) also must:

  • Cover telemedicine services using any platform permitted by state law; and
  • Not require more documentation for telemedicine services than they require for in-person services.

To make telemedicine available to more patients and their physicians during the emergency declaration period, many state and federal rules and regulations regarding telehealth, including a waiver for audio-only visits, have been relaxed temporarily.

In addition, commercial and government payers have issued waivers and policy changes to help physicians care for as many patients as possible. 

If you would like more help understanding the changes and how to utilize telemedicine to care for your patients, the Texas Medical Association has created several tools and resources for you.

Listen to this webinar, Telemedicine During COVID-19to learn telemedicine terminology and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services changes, such as what codes you can bill during this time. It is accredited for 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and 0.5 Ethics.

In addition, TMA’s Practice Viability Toolkit has a wealth of information and resources on telemedicine.

You can find more on TMA’s Telemedicine web page, Practice Viability web page, and COVID-19 Resource Center.

Last Updated On

June 24, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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