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AMA publishes telehealth coding guide

March 24, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Practice Management Public Health 


The American Medical Association (AMA) has published new resources that provide special coding advice during the COVID-19 public health emergency. One resource outlines coding scenarios designed to help health care professionals apply best coding practices. The scenarios include telehealth services for all patients. Examples specifically related to COVID-19 testing include coding for when a patient: comes to the office for E/M visit, and is tested for COVID-19 during the visit; receives a telehealth visit re: COVID-19 and is directed to come to physician office or physician’s group practice site for testing; receives a virtual check-in/online visit re: COVID-19 (not related to E/M visit), and is directed to come to physician office for testing; and more. There is also a quick-reference flowchart that outlines CPT reporting for COVID-19 testing.

As physicians around the state are ramping up telehealth services so care can continue to be provided to those who need it most, the California Medical Association (CMA) is compiling telehealth information from the major payors in the state. Physicians should be aware that each payor's rules on what they will pay may differ and that CMA is working with to obtain their official guidance.

See CMA’s COVID-19 Telehealth Response for the latest information. This document will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.

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