TelePsychiatry News & Information

CMS Telehealth Rule changes for 2014 PDF Print E-mail

ATA Responds to CMS Proposal for Expanded Telemedicine Coverage

July 12, 2013 (Washington, DC) - The American Telemedicine Association voices its cautious support for new proposals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would expand Medicare’s telehealth footprint.  CMS proposes to increase the number of beneficiaries eligible for telemedicine by modifying their urban/rural definitions and proposes several new reimbursable telemedicine services. 

“Overall, the proposed rules are good news for Medicare patients and forward-thinking healthcare providers. We applaud CMS for taking steps to help these patients benefit from proven telemedicine technologies,” said Jonathan Linkous, Chief Executive Officer of the American Telemedicine Association. "But many potential beneficiaries are still left behind.  For example, we hope that either CMS or Congress take additional steps to restore telehealth benefits to the one million beneficiaries in 104 counties that lost coverage last year due to reclassification to metropolitan areas.”

The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2014 includes two major changes that positively impact telemedicine.

The first change would extend reimbursable telehealth services to “originating sites” serving nearly one million rural beneficiaries living in large metropolitan areas. Currently, Medicare uses a strict county-based classification to enforce its rural-only rule for telemedicine coverage, leaving areas such as Death Valley and the Grand Canyon outside of the former definition and ineligible for telemedicine coverage. The new rule would create a more precise urban/rural distinction based on geographically smaller census tracts. Some critics, however, have cited the proposed rules as adding a complicated formula to the process that requires local clinics and providers to search hard-to-find census tract information to determine their eligibility.

The second proposed change would increase coverage for transitional care management services under Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes 99495 and 99496, involving post-discharge communication with a patient and/or caregiver. Reimbursement of these services will help healthcare providers deliver improved in-home care to at-risk beneficiaries and significantly reduce needless hospital readmissions.

CMS’ proposed rulemaking is available at  and will be published in the Federal Register on July 19. The proposal is currently open for comment and ATA encourages all telemedicine advocates to express their support.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 July 2013 08:30
Telehealth provisions in the Affordable Care Act PDF Print E-mail


The American Telemedicine Association has published a summary of telehealth provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  You may read it here.




Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 16:22
CMS 2013 Billing Code Changes PDF Print E-mail


Click Here to download a 9-page 2013 Coding Changes FAQ document from the American Psychiatric Association (APA)


1.) The CPT codes for most psychiatric services will be changing on January 1, 2013. According to the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association, the most obvious change is the replacement of psychotherapy codes (e.g. 90804, 90806 and 90808) with time-specific codes:

  • 90832 = 30 minutes
  • 90834 = 45 minutes
  • 90837 = 60 minutes

And corresponding psychotherapy codes that include evaluation and management (E/M) services.

2.) CPT code 90801 (Psychiatric diagnostic interview examination) will be replaced with two codes: one with and one without E/M services.

3.) It is unknown at this point if there will be a replacement for 90808 (75-80 min.). 90837, the code for a 60-minute session, may be considered a crisis code requiring preauthorization, much as many insurers currently treat code 90808 (Individual psychotherapy…approximately 75-80 minutes face-to-face) as a crisis code. There will be new codes for crisis psychotherapy.

4.) CPT code 90862 (Pharmacologic management, including prescription, use, and review of medication with no more than minimal medical psychotherapy) will be eliminated and prescribers will have to use E/M coding with stricter documentation requirements.


Last Updated on Friday, 21 December 2012 07:37
Secure Telehealth welcomes Apple Mac Computers PDF Print E-mail

Secure Telehealth welcomes Apple Mac users, who can now connect with other Mac or Windows PC's for telemedicine!
Contact us for a demo on your Mac with OS X.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 09:28
2013 Medicare Telehealth Additions PDF Print E-mail

Proposed Medicare Telehealth Additions for 2013

CMS has proposed to extend reimbursement for the following services provided via telehealth:

  • Annual alcohol misuse screening G0442 
  • Brief behavioral counseling for alcohol misuse G0443
  • Annual face-to-face intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease G0446
  • Annual depression screening G0444
  • Behavioral counseling for obesity G0447
  • Semi-annual high intensity behavioral counseling to prevent sexually transmitted infections G0445

As with all Medicare reimbursement for telehealth, the telehealth expansion would be limited to beneficiaries who receive services at an approved originating site. Generally, originating sites eligible to provide the telehealth benefit are located in a rural health professional shortage area or in a county outside of a metropolitan statistical area.



Read here for the requested rule change published in the July 30, 2012 Federal Register

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 August 2012 15:06
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