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COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions CMA has received during the COVID-19 outbreak. By default, the most recent answers will appear up top. You can also filter the FAQ by category. We will update this resource regularly.

More questions? Email communications@cmadocs.org.


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For Medicare, the physician should report the place of service (POS) code that would have been reported had the service been furnished in person. Modifier 95 should be applied to claim lines that describe services furnished via telehealth. These billing changes only apply to professional fees, and there are no changes to institutional or facility fees.For Medi-Cal fee-for-service, Medi-Cal managed care and plans licensed by the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), physicians should bill usi...
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
Telehealth services are not limited by specialty. It is the role of the medical staff, in consultation with specific departments, to determine if services are appropriate to be delivered via the telehealth modality. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued several temporary waivers and new rules to allow health care providers maximum flexibilities to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, physicians and medical staffs should be aware of the unique standard of care issues th...
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
Under a blanket waiver issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare will pay for hospital visits furnished via telehealth on an expanded basis. Previously, Medicare payment for telehealth was limited to designated rural areas and had limits on originating and distant sites. These limitations do not currently apply. Additionally, HHS will not conduct audits to ensure that such a prior relationship existed for claims submitted during the public health emergency. Current...
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
In general, yes. Telehealth providers must still meet the definition of “health care provider” as set forth in Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 2290.5(3)(A), which requires California licensure. However, during the COVID-19 emergency, the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has established an expedited process for hospitals and telehealth agencies to obtain approval to use physicians licensed in other states. EMSA will only accept requests for out-of-state medical personnel ...
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
In general, Medicare conditions of participation require a hospital to have an organized medical staff that is responsible for credentialing all members of the medical staff. When telehealth services are provided to a hospital’s patients by a distant-site hospital or telemedicine entity, the governing body of the hospital, instead of requiring the normal credentialing process, may allow its medical staff to rely on privileging decisions made by the distant site entity, provided that there ...
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| Categories: Hospital and Medical Staff, Telehealth
Yes. The current Medicare policy allows for the billing of Annual Wellness Visits (AWV) codes G0438-G0439 when delivered via telehealth provided that all elements of the AWV are provided. Additionally, for the duration of the public health emergency, the AWV may be administered using audio-only technology, if a video connection with the patient is not possible. If the patient can self-report elements of the AWV (i.e., height. weight, blood pressure, other measurements deemed appropriate based on...
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| Categories: Telehealth

Has CMA vetted the telehealth platform Medici?

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Several physicians who attended CMA’s April 30, 2020, webinar "Reopening a Medical Practice during COVID-19" asked about the platform that Dr. Hansen uses, which he discussed during his presentation. The platform he uses is called Medici. CMA has not vetted Medici, but there is more information available about the platform here.CMA Physician Services, Inc., has, however, partnered with Amwell, the nation’s leading telehealth platform, to provide all California physicia...
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| Categories:
The State of California has launched this website, which allows physicians and patients to search for and map to the closes testing sites.
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| Categories: Testing, Reopening
Yes. Physicians should contact patients telephonically before they come in and perform a screening interview for potential COVID-19 symptoms. Practices that use a patient portal can also develop a brief questionnaire to be used for this purpose.The American Medical Association has provided a pre-visit patient screening template that practices can use for identifying possible COVID-19 patients. It is available here (pages 4 and 5 of the document).
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| Categories: Reopening, Safety Protocols
As practices reopen, it is a good idea to continue seeing patients via telehealth as medically appropriate. This preserves office space and exam rooms for patients that need to be seen in person for screenings, vaccinations, etc. It is also a good idea to place strict limits on visitors and guests that enter the practice.For a more comprehensive list of CMA’s recommendations for maintaining social distancing in your practice, please see CMA’s Best Practices for Reopening a Medical Pr...
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| Categories: Telehealth, Reopening, Safety Protocols
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Your use of the CMA website, including information provided on the COVID 19 Resource Page is governed by the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy linked below.  All CMA Content, including COVID 19 related content, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical or legal advice, or as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician or the legal advice of an attorney. Physicians should contact their professional liability and other insurers and an attorney for specific advice.

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