Thursday, January 17, 2013

APA Urges Fix for Problem Arising From Elimination of a CPT Code

APA has joined with the American Telemedicine Association in asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a temporary accommodation to address problems created by the elimination of CPT code 90862. That code covered pharmacologic management by psychiatrists conducting telehealth rounds for hospitals that do not have a psychiatrist on staff. Under new rules that went effect at the beginning of the year, psychiatrists will have to use an evaluation and management (E/M) code to bill for this function. However, E/M codes can only be used once every three days, and hospitals using telepsychiatry often require that acutely ill psychiatric patients be seen at least five times a week by a psychiatrist.

“It is essential that psychiatrists be able to do rounds on these patients more frequently than every three days,” wrote APA Medical Director James Scully, M.D., and Jonathan Linkous, chief executive officer of the American Telemedicine Association, in a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “We are concerned that under the new coding format, seriously ill patients will not be able to receive the care they require.”

The two organizations have asked CMS for delay of several months to permit a re-evaluation of the rule and “a thoughtful long-term adjustment.”

To read more about recent changes to CPT codes, see Psychiatric News.

(image: Anaken2012/


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.