April 14, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Workers' Compensation Advocacy
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) on Monday announced that it would be covering telehealth services for injured workers. According to the order, DWC will be covering the same telehealth services as those being allowed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The order is effective for services provided on or after April 15, 2020, and will remain in place throughout the public health emergency.
The changes address the concerns outlined in a letter sent to DWC by the California Medical Association (CMA), California Occupational Medicine Physicians and the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, CMA has been aggressively lobbying state and federal leaders to ensure physician practices can provide and be fairly reimbursed for telehealth services during this public health emergency.
According to the DWC order, providers will reimbursed at same rate for telehealth services provided to injured worker as they would for the same services provided in person. When billing for these services, providers should list the same Place of Service that would have been used had the service been provided in person, along with modifier 95 to indicate that the service was provided via telehealth.
For more information about providing telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency, see CMA’s Telehealth Toolkit for Physician Practices.