Getting Doctors Paid For Telehealth

A strong doctor-patient relationship is the foundation for high-quality patient care and reducing health care costs. provides a simple and convenient way for healthcare providers to meet with their patients remotely, improving the health care experience. We believe everyone should have access to care through telemedicine.

Ms. Jones, vice president of government affairs at American Well, recently wrote an article for Forbes about the state of telemedicine reimbursement. Read the article here.

One of the most commonly asked questions from users is “Will I be paid or reimbursed?”

It’s not an inappropriate or selfish question. When we leave for work in the morning, we are all well aware of our rate of pay. Hourly, weekly, bi-weekly, or by the service – we do not walk into a job without negotiating salary. Neither do clinicians. They negotiate contracts with payers, or accept conditions of accepting patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

But, when it comes to telehealth, it’s still very much a guessing game for any provider contracting with a commercial payer – and that’s nearly every provider.

Here’s the state of play:

• Original Medicare pays for certain codes when the patient is in a rural, clinical originating site, with the exception of a few models CMS is currently testing

• State Medicaid plans vary state by state; those policies are published but sometimes limited by site, provider type, and technology
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• 31 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws addressing telehealth; some require coverage, some require reimbursement and some require both

• The vast majority of commercial plans have not established or published comprehensive telehealth reimbursement policies for their in-network providers

So, where does this leave providers who are using innovation and technology to address gaps in care? For their publicly insured patients, the answers are known, even if they aren’t always ideal. But for their commercially covered patients, they are rolling the dice. Providers are literally going to work not knowing their rate of pay.

Read the rest of the article here.

Dylan Turner

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