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Information on TeleHealth
Clinical Resources - Telehealth - Top Web Content
We are committed to keeping you informed about the telehealth mandate effective January 1, 2016, through our provider newsletter and other communications. This section of our website is intended to provide the most current information and resources available related to telehealth.
UNI-Clinical Resources - Telehealth - Accordion Content
The New York state mandate applies to Commercial and Managed Medicaid members. Medicare Advantage members are excluded from this mandate; however, existing Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rules apply.
New York state describes telemedicine, for purposes of commercial products, as the use of electronic information and communication technologies by a health care provider to deliver health care services to an insured individual while such individual is located at a different site than where the health care provider is located.
It is important to know:
- Telemedicine coverage requirements vary by line of business.
- Members receiving care by telemedicine should understand their financial responsibilities and provide permission before each visit. Standard cost-sharing will apply (deductible, copayments, coinsurances).
What is telemedicine?
Generally, telemedicine is the remote delivery of health care services and clinical information by use of such electronic technology as the Internet, wireless and satellite or the telephone.
What is the NYS telemedicine mandate?
New York became the 22nd state to pass legislation requiring a health plan to provide coverage for services rendered by telemedicine that are otherwise covered under a plan when rendered face to face.
When does the mandate go into effect?
The mandate goes into effect for policies issued, modified or renewed on or after January 1, 2016.
Who is covered by the mandate?
The mandate provides coverage requirements for Managed Medicaid, all fully insured individual/direct pay and small group (both on and off Exchange) and large group members, as well as Essential Plan and Child Health Plus products.
What is covered by the mandate?
Existing member benefits when provided appropriately via telemedicine can be reimbursable subject to reasonable utilization management and quality assurance requirements. Coverage requirements vary.
How is the Health Plan fulfilling the terms of the mandate?
The Health Plan has updated its Telehealth/Telemedicine Corporate Medical PolicyOpen a PDF and subscriber contracts to reflect the mandated required changes.
Does the patient need to consent prior to receiving services by telemedicine?
Yes, per our Corporate Medical Policy, the patient must provide consent prior to the telemedicine services being rendered. Although, we do not require a written consent form, we are providing an example of a telemedicine patient consent form that can be downloaded and adapted to your practice’s needs. Please see the Resources Tab and document titled Example Telemedicine Visit Consent for example consent language.
How do I submit and get paid for telemedicine services?
Your normal claim process applies to telemedicine services. Modifiers GT and GQ are required when the code does not otherwise specify the delivery type.
What technology may I use for telemedicine visits?
Telemedicine services must be provided using HIPAA compliant technologies.
Who should I call if I have questions about submitting claims?
Questions about claims and billing may be directed to your Provider Relations Representative.
- American Telemedicine Association - Telemedicine Practice Guidelines
- Elimination of GT Modifier by CMSOpen a PDF
- Example Telemedicine Visit ConsentOpen a PDF
- March 2015 Medicaid Update from NYS Department of Medicaid - Telemedicine content starts on page 18Open a PDF
- Medicare Claims Processing Manual - see Section 190 starting on page 189Open a PDF
- Medicare Learning Network - Telehealth ServicesOpen a PDF
- New York Telehealth Mandate A02552
- Place of Service (POS) code 02 - CMS implements with effective date of 1/1/17Open a PDF
- Telepsychiatry Standards GuidanceOpen a PDF
- Univera Medical Policy for Telemedicine and TelehealthOpen a PDF
Effective January 1, 2017, CMS will implement a new Place of Service (POS) code 02 for use by the physician or practitioner furnishing telehealth services from a distant site. CMS describes the POS of 02 as “The location where health services and health related services are provided or received, through telecommunication technology.” POS 02 will not apply to originating site facilities who are billing a facility fee. Learn more . . .Open a PDF
Codes not specific to telemedicine services should be identified utilizing the following modifiers:
GQ - Via asynchronous telecommunications system
GT - Via interactive audio and video telecommunications system