6 Reasons Payers Treat Telemedicine Differently Than In-Person Visits

More than half (55 percent) of providers do not bill either private payers or federal health programs for services performed via telemedicine, according to a study in Telemedicine and e-Health.

Based on responses from 640 participants in an online survey, researchers determined it is often more difficult for providers to be reimbursed for telemedicine services because payers treat these claims differently. The providers surveyed cited the following as reasons for the disparity in how payers handle claims for telemedicine and in-person care:

  • Billing codes are different for telemedicine and in-person care: 38.3 percent
  • Denials are greater for telemedicine than in-person care: 35.6 percent
  • Documentation requirements are different for telemedicine: 24.8 percent
  • Preauthorization is needed for telemedicine, but not for in-person care: 20.1 percent
  • Providers often must have preferred provider status for telemedicine: 16.1 percent
  • Telemedicine care often must be subject to case review before services can be rendered: 12.1 percent

More Articles on Telemedicine:

ACOs Join Calls for Relaxed Restrictions on Telehealth Reimbursements
Why Providers Aren't Billing for Telemedicine Services
How Telemedicine May Increase Specialty Care Visits

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