Practical tips for procuring telehealth reimbursement

In April,  Kansas City Digital Drive, with support from REACH Healthcare Foundation, sponsored a workshop “Reimbursement to Value in Telehealth” to help providers better navigate the telehealth reimbursement universe. HTRC Director Eve-Lynn Nelson, Ph.D served on a panel to discuss telehealth success stories.

The day was packed with useful information, according to HTRC Project Director Janine Gracy, but of particular note were some practical tips from Karen Johnson, Vice President of Healthcare Insights and Partnerships at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. Here are a few of Johnson’s tips:

  • It is important to proactively reach out to each plan to determine what is available for telehealth reimbursement
  • Be prepared to be firm with the payer
  • Demonstrate that you have the technology to meet their requirements
  • Use the payer’s vocabulary. For example, some plans may use “telehealth,” while others may use “web therapy” or “virtual health.”  You must use their exact words!

“Telehealth billing can be puzzling, but there are ways to get paid for the service,” added Gracy. Persistence pays off.  We all look forward to the day when telehealth is seen as another tool in health care that deserves same reimbursement as in person.”

For more tips for reimbursement success, call HTRC at 877-643-HTRC.

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