In January 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services unbundled CPT Code 99091, a 16-year-old code in desperate need of updating. The new code allows for additional billable Medicare hours for remote-patient monitoring, including time spent on the collection and assessment of data generated remotely.
For behavioral health practitioners, this new code opens up more possibilities for the remote monitoring of patients. Because it is not technically considered “telehealth” by CMS, this code does not have to meet certain strict requirements. For instance, you can use this code even if patients generate the health data at home. Additionally, patients don’t have to be in a rural or qualifying area for these services to be covered.
Code 99091 can also be used once in the same 30-day period as many other remote patient monitoring codes. Most importantly for behavioral health practitioners, you use the following codes related to General Behavioral Health Integration services or a psychiatric collaborative care model (CoCM):
These codes cover psychosocial assessment as well as oversight of patient self-management and medications.
With additional reimbursement opportunities, you may be able to better integrate remote-patient monitoring into your facility’s treatment plan, improving the quality of your care and maximizing your revenue.
Benefits of Behavioral Health Remote Patient Monitoring Services
Remote patient monitoring services can help you keep in touch with patients after they have left your facility or between outpatient visits. This can provide benefits to both you and the patient.
Increasing Connection to Prevent Relapse
Patients facing addiction or behavioral health concerns need ongoing support. Remote monitoring such as weekly assessments can help you keep an eye on your patients. If patient’s report changes to their moods or behaviors, you can step in with an intervention that might prevent relapse.
More Access for More Patients
Remote patient monitoring can take place through secure Internet portals on a phone or computer, making it easy for many patients to check in with you even if they don’t have transportation or face busy schedules. Remote monitoring can be flexible to their schedule and needs so more patients can have more access to your care. Continuing support and connection to their sober community may also help them adhere to their treatment plan over time.
Preparation for Changing Reimbursement Models
Insurers are increasingly turning to value-based care models for reimbursement. These models reward you for achieving better outcomes, not just delivering services. Remote monitoring can help you keep up with patients and offer additional care, both of which lead to better long-term outcomes. As reimbursement models change, you’ll be ready to prove you deliver great care.
Get Started with Remote Patient Monitoring Now
Regulations for both remote patient monitoring and telehealth services are changing fast, improving opportunities for reimbursement. Thanks to the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services’ proposed 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, you’ll have even more opportunities in 2019 to offer remote and virtual services, such as:
Remote check-in or follow-up services
Evaluation of patient video or images
Prolonged preventive care services
By getting started now, you can have your practice ready to offer telehealth services and take advantage of new reimbursement opportunities.
Learn more about how your practice can increase its revenue using telehealth services. Schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with Datapro experts by calling 805-579-3537 or contacting us online.