Coverage of Preventive Well Visits through Telemedicine in Response to COVID-19 for Independence Commercial Members




    Policies Impacted

    00.06.02ab Preventive Care Services (Independence)

    Telemedicine Services for Independence Commercial Members (Updated May 19, 2020)




    Purpose

    The purpose of this News Article is to provide advance notice regarding coverage for preventive well visits through telemedicine for our Independence commercial members in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    This News Article addressing preventive well visits through telemedicine is effective from March 6, 2020 through June 30, 2020 and is subject to reevaluation for the duration of the public health emergency.



    Background

    There is currently an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus, which has now been detected internationally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19). The SARS-CoV-2 virus has demonstrated the capability to rapidly spread, leading to significant impacts on healthcare systems and causing societal disruption. The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high globally. To effectively respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, rapid detection of cases and contacts, appropriate clinical management and infection control, and implementation of community mitigation efforts are critical.

    To help reduce potential exposure, members and participating providers may utilize telemedicine services to perform components of a preventive well visit as detailed below and available as part of a member’s plan.



    Indications

    N/A



    Coverage Statement

    Preventive well visits performed through telemedicine are considered eligible for reimbursement consideration when both of the following criteria are met:

    • The well visit is performed through interactive, synchronous (real-time) two-way audio and video communications, and includes all components that can be performed through telemedicine (e.g., history, counseling/anticipatory guidance/risk factor reduction interventions, and the ordering of appropriate laboratory/diagnostic procedures); AND
    • The well visit will include a subsequent office-based visit for the completion of the physical examination component of the preventive well visit. The subsequent office-based visit is not eligible for separate reimbursement consideration. Reimbursement for the subsequent office-based visit is included in the telemedicine preventive well visit.
      • Eligible professional providers performing the subsequent office-based visit for the completion of the physical examination component must report procedure code 99429 (Unlisted preventive medicine service) along with a narrative that indicates the service is for completion of the well visit and listing the date of the initial telemedicine visit. For example, "Completion of well visit from XX/XX/2020".


    REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

    The individual's medical record must reflect the medical necessity for the care provided. These medical records may include, but are not limited to: records from the professional provider's office, hospital, nursing home, home health agencies, therapies, and test reports.

    The Company may conduct reviews and audits of services to our members, regardless of the participation status of the professional provider. All documentation is to be available to the Company upon request. Failure to produce the requested information may result in a denial for the service.



    BILLING REQUIREMENTS

    Eligible professional providers performing components of the preventive well visits, as appropriate, through interactive, synchronous (real-time) two-way audio and video communications must report the appropriate procedure code, appropriate modifier (GT or 95), and place-of-service (POS) code 02 (Telehealth), to ensure payment of eligible telemedicine services.

    Inclusion of a code in this News Article does not imply reimbursement. Eligibility, benefits, limitations, exclusions, precertification/referral requirements, provider contracts, and Company policies apply.



    Dosing and Administration

    N/A



    Black Box Warnings and/or Contraindications

    N/A



    Coding


    PREVENTIVE WELL VISIT

    99381, 99382, 99383, 99384, 99385, 99386, 99387, 99391, 99392, 99393, 99394, 99395, 99396, 99397, G0438, G0439


    SUBSEQUENT OFFICE-BASED VISIT

    99429


    MODIFIERS

    GT, 95






    Issued on - 04/20/2020

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2017 Independence Blue Cross.
Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, serving the health insurance needs of Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania.