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CMS May Be Giving the Green Light for Physicians to Bill for Electronic Services

Posted Jul 28 2009 11:16pm

  Dr. Crounse   at the HealthBlog had a conversation with a physician who is exploring and pioneering electronic billing services and through their conversations it appears there’s some hope on the horizon for physicians to get compensated for electronic services, so get your webcams ready.  You may want to read the entire article here as there’s a bit explaining how you need to have patients agree and be notified in advance. As the article states, there’s more information to follow. 

It appears we are inline for some major paradigm changes with healthcare and the use of technology.  I’ll be anxious to hear more on the subject as well.  Also mentioned is American Well, the company who has a web cam software solution that is currently being used in Hawaii and on it’s way to integrate in other new locations in the US.  I have several posts about American Well from the recent past you can find under the related links section below and they are kind enough to list the Medical Quack on their Media Coverage page as well!

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Also, one item not to forget is the alliance with the HealthVault so the electronic visits can be stored and shared by the patient too. 

American Well and Microsoft Enter Into a Strategic Collaboration – HealthVault

From the HealthBlog:

“Dr. Gumprecht asked me to help spread the word.  He went on to say, “Too many busy doctors will hear the news of CMS permitting direct billing but will not know the nuts and bolts of adopting it, or they will not exert the minor effort it takes to reformat their patient intake sheets (on the disclosure you must say the patient is responsible for electronic bills), tell their receptionists and office nurses how to handle phone, fax, or email requests for service. Once you have a month or so getting patients to sign disclosure forms on their patient intake sheets, the practice can start billing patients directly for electronic services”.

I’ve asked Dr. Gumprecht to further verify all of this and supply me with the specific citations in Medicare regulations.  I’ll be sure to pass that information along when I receive it.  

Now it seems that the federal government may be giving a green light to docs who want a similar arrangement for patients receiving Medicare.  According to Dr. Gumprecht, “CMS now permits direct billing of electronic services----and it is important to say ALL ELECTRONIC SERVICES---PHONE, FAX, EMAIL, VIDEO, TEXTING----because logically it is a professional medical service being rendered electronically and the exact mode should not be one or the other but a continuum between all of them.   With this breakthrough, most other carriers will fall inline with the CMS approach, and at least permit direct billing of patients”.

HealthBlog

Related Reading:

OptumHealth (Subsidiary of UnitedHealthCare) Teams Up With American Well for 24/7 Physician Consults

American Well Video Physician Conferencing becoming available in Minnesota

Digital Doctor Visits are Up and Rising in the US

American Well – Video Consults for Physicians

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