1. All telemedicine patients must be in states where the physician is licensed and authorized to practice medicine*
*Due to COVID-19 and the novel coronavirus, certain restrictions have been lifted. These relaxed restrictions apply to telemedicine. If you are not licensed in the state where the patient is located:
- As part of emergency declarations, many states have relaxed licensure requirements related to physicians licensed in another state and retired or clinically inactive physicians. Your state board of medicine or department of health will have the latest information as it applies to COVID-19 and your ability to treat patients.
- CMS has expanded access to telemedicine services to Medicare beneficiaries, not just those that have novel coronavirus, during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. In addition to existing coverage for originating sites including physician offices, skilled nursing facilities and hospitals, Medicare will now make payments for telehealth services furnished in any healthcare facility and in the home.
- Regarding COVID-19, generally patient claims alleging negligence related to COVID-19 are covered, but it’s important to check your insurance policy’s existing terms and conditions.
2. The amount providers are reimbursed for telemedicine varies depending on the state’s legislation. Some states require that private payers reimburse the same amount for telemedicine as if the service was provided in-person. However, most states with reimbursement requirements leave this determination up to the payers. Most private payers reimburse at levels equivalent to in-person visits.
3. Patient data transmitted over the internet during telemedicine appointments is subject to HIPAA regulations, requiring telemedicine services be conducted over encrypted technology platforms. Video services like FaceTime or the free version of Skype do not meet this standard, but Skype for Business does.
4. Medical malpractice policy pricing for telemedicine varies by specialty, scope of professional services, patient volumes, hours per week, state, and carrier. An insurance broker can help you find the right policy for your situation.