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Now that telehealth use is exploding, physicians and experts are thinking about the legal risks involved in treating a larger volume of patients virtually. While there’s some dispute over the threat level, it’s worth a close analysis of — and possibly some tweaks to — your encounter protocol and documentation to stay on the safe side.
Dig into the new guidelines that the AMA has published for E/M office visits (99202-99215) and work with your electronic health record (EHR), electronic medical record (EMR) and other software vendors to ensure a smooth transition to the new rules that will go into effect a few months from now.
Question: I saw a recent report on telehealth that addresses a situation in which the telehealth patient refuses follow-up care. In the scenario, the patient is determined by the provider to require an office visit or a trip to the emergency room, but the patient refuses the follow-up. The authors say a “Refusal of Care” form should be filled out. We have never used such a form. Should we be doing this?
On September 3, CMS launched a new interface that combines its eight “Compare” tools for helping patients find appropriate medical care and facilities online.
With the Level 1 new patient office E/M code 99201 going away next year, it’s worth considering how your specialty performs with the other new patient office visit codes.


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