Telehealth Coding Tip Sheet

March 19, 2020

Common Terms

Telehealth Coding Tip Sheet

Distant site: where the physician or other licensed practitioner is physically located when providing telemedicine services

E-visit: A communication between a patient and their provider through an online patient portal.

Medicare Telehealth visit: A visit with a provider that uses telecommunications systems between a provider and a patient.

Originating site: where the patient is physically located when receiving telemedicine services

Telehealth: applying technologies to help patients manage their illnesses through improved self-care and access to education and support systems

Telemedicine: using technologies to diagnose, monitor, and/or treat patients remotely

Virtual check-in: A brief (5-10 minutes) check-in with your practitioner via telephone or other telecommunications device to decide whether an office visit or other service is needed. May also involve a remote evaluation of recorded video and/or images submitted by an established patient.

1135 waiver: Waiver that allows Medicare to pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth across the country and including in patient’s places of residence starting March 6, 2020.

HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is also providing flexibility for healthcare providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing for telehealth visits paid by federal healthcare programs.

Equipment requirements: Interactive audio and video telecommunications system that permits real-time communication between the provider at the distant site and the patient at the originating site.