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Providers gained a substantial pay boost for audio-only E/M encounters (99441-99443) under recent CMS rulemaking -- and the path to those payments for claims you already submitted just got easier.
 
 
 
The big pay boost for telephone E/M codes performed by physicians and qualified health care professionals (99441-99443) is good news for practices that have performed audio-only telephone encounters during the COVID-19 emergency.
 
In addition, the update should remind practices to make sure they know when they can report an office E/M telehealth visit and determine if their state’s Medicaid program will reimburse the practice for audio-only encounters.
 
 
Providers will soon have a way to capture reimbursement for the treatment of uninsured patients during the COVID-19 emergency. But bear in mind that funds are limited, and you'll have to wade through various registration steps to get set up.
 
CMS and private payers have knocked down barriers for telehealth and telemedicine services during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). But a MedPage Today article reveals that barriers to payment remain, and the steady flow of changes to coding and billing guidance is a major hurdle.
Update: CMS has updated the NCCI section of the CMS website to state that the changes announced in its April 7 NCCI updates reported below are retroactive to Jan. 1.
 

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