Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Erratum; New Telehealth Code Announced

A Psychiatric News Alert distributed on January 17 contained incorrect information. The item reported that APA had 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 had been used for pharmacologic management by psychiatrists conducting telehealth rounds for hospitals that do not have a psychiatrist on staff. The report also stated that psychiatrists must use an evaluation and management (E/M) code to bill for this function and stated that E/M codes can be used for this purpose only once every three days.

In fact, at the time the Alert was published, CMS had already made a correction to eliminate this problem.  CMS created a G-code, G0459, effective January 1, that allows for  all medically necessary inpatient telehealth psychiatric pharmacologic management, including prescription, use, and review of medication with minimal medical psychotherapy. There are no restrictions on the frequency with which this code can be used; also, there are no restrictions on the frequency with which medically necessary E/M codes can be used outside of telemedicine. We apologize for the errors.

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