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2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule Important for Telemedicine

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The recently published 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule (November 28 Federal Register) contains an important provision that is moving us even closer to resolving the reimbursement issue related to telemedicine.

The recently published 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule (November 28 Federal Register) contains an important provision that is moving us even closer to resolving the reimbursement issue related to telemedicine.

Telehealth consultation changes
The Initial inpatient telehealth consultation codes (G0425 – G0427) descriptions will be revised to reflect services furnished to emergency department patients in addition to inpatient telehealth consultations effective January 1, 2012.

To see why this is important to patients and hospitals, just read the Washington Post article Where are the Doctors?.  For those who prefer graphics, you can see from the map just why telemedicine is so appealing to some communities and states as we look toward a new healthcare delivery system. 

Docmaps1
It really isn’t about the cool technology, it is about access to the right physician for so many people. Now, if we could only resolve the challenges with cross state licensure for the benefit of both telehealth and health information exchange we would be in pretty good shape going forward.

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