Moving Beyond Telehealth Payment Codes

Many telehealth advocates have been pleased with the recent news from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about new payment codes for telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM). And many news articles, blogs and conference sessions have focused on discussing the processes and procedures around these new codes.

While we applaud this progress, and recognize that payment is undoubtedly an essential element of any successful healthcare intervention, there are many more aspects of the expanding field of telemedicine that need to be addressed in tandem in order to ensure this momentum continues.

One of the most crucial challenges the industry must address is promoting and evaluating quality in a landscape that is diversified, dynamic and often times very complex. To ensure the long term value of – and payment for – telemedicine, the fidelity and consistency of telemedicine programs must be established.

In order to address this challenge, ClearHealth Quality Institute became the first and only quality benchmarking organization to fully scope out a “standards ecosystem” that connects telemedicine operations, clinical pathways, technology requirements and quality. CHQI’s work promotes:

In order to continue to expand payer reimbursement opportunities, we as an industry must work in partnership to demonstrate and communicate the value of digital health programs.

This should include focusing on – and measuring when possible – attributes such as quality, efficiency, standardization, transparency, integration and innovation.

By joining forces, we can as an industry identify and implement policies and procedures that will not only improve quality, mitigate risk, and increase patient satisfaction, but will also produce results and outcomes that resonate with payers and other stakeholders. Let’s work together to move beyond the telehealth payment codes.

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