As it relates to virtual care, CMS officials said that provisions in the CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule would support access to care using telecommunications technology. Always note that CMS and state reimbursement laws vary and are not always aligned. Under the final rule, Medicare will pay providers for new communication technology-based services, such as brief check-ins between patients and practitioners, and pay separately for evaluation of remote pre-recorded images and/or video. CMS is also expanding the list of Medicare-covered telehealth services.
In the future, there will be major E&M reforms include replacing the current E&M codes in year 2021 with a new, single blended payment rate for E&M office visit codes Level 2 through 4 visits, while maintaining the payment rate for E&M office/outpatient visit code level 5 in order to better account for the care and needs of complex patients.