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Telehealth Resources

 

Blue Cross and BCN extend no-cost telehealth services to members through June 30 and include behavioral health

Update from April 3, 2020

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network want to make it easier for you to care for your patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to encourage our members to continue to seek care with you during this crisis and we want to make them feel safe while doing so. To this end, effective immediately, we are:

  • Extending the waiving of member cost-sharing on select telehealth services through at least June 3
  • Expanding no cost telehealth services to now include common behavioral health therapy for members with our behavioral health benefits
  • Clarifying the specific telehealth services that have no member cost sharing
  • Announcing that ALL Blue Cross and BCN members – including all self-funded groups – now have coverage for telemedicine services (those offered by our network providers); most, but not all members also have access to Blue Cross Online Visits’ (operated by Amwell)

The expanded list of no cost telehealth services for members includes the most common medical office visits and hospitalization follow-up visits as well as common behavioral health therapy. To make this easier for our providers, we’ve published a list of codes that have no member cost sharing through June 30, 2020.

These changes apply to:

  • Blue Cross PPO (commercial)
  • BCN HMOSM (commercial)
  • Medicare Plus BlueSM PPO
  • BCN AdvantageSM

 

Telehealth services that are covered under the Blue Cross and BCN Telemedicine Services Medical Policy that are not listed in the attached list of codes, are still covered but will require standard member cost sharing.  A copy of our Telemedicine Services Medical Policy and our telehealth guides are available on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information updates for providers webpage.  You can find this webpage within BCBSM Newsletters and Resources and BCN Provider Publications and Resources.  While the information within our secure provider website is more comprehensive, information is also available on our public website atbcbsm.com/coronavirus. Click on For Providers.


Link to Telehealth Procedure Codes for COVID-19 (Updated April 3, 2020)

Link to Provider Alert: Updates to Procedure Codes and Telehealth Guides

 

Guidance on Michigan Medicaid Telemedicine Policy (March 19th, 2020) 

The current Michigan Medicaid telemedicine policy update described in MSA 20-09 recognizes telecommunication systems that utilize both audio and visual connections together and ensure privacy and security of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Systems limited to telephonic connection are not supported within this policy. Some Medicaid and Behavioral Health programs may temporarily consider telephonic connections acceptable as the Centers for Disease Control discourages non-essential in-person services to prevent the spread of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Refer to recently released MSA 20-12 for further guidance on limiting face to face services. 

The current telemedicine policy described in MSA 20-09 includes a range of telemedicine services including CPT 90837. For a complete list of services and billing codes covered within this policy, please see the telemedicine fee schedule on the MDHHS website and use the following navigation to access >> Billing and Reimbursement >> Provider Specific Information >> Physicians/Practitioners/Medical Clinics >> Telemedicine Services.”

 

Center on Medicaid and Medicare Services Expands Telehealth Services  

(March 17th, 2020)


CMS has broadened access to Medicare telehealth services so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services. 


To read the Fact Sheet on this announcement visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet.

 

To read the Frequently Asked Questions on this announcement visit:https://www.cms.gov/files/document/medicare-telehealth-frequently-asked-questions-faqs-31720.pdf.


Key Take-Aways for Social Workers: 


  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers can provide teletherapy to beneficiaries if the client is in their home. 

  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers can also see new or existing patients. 

  • Telephone/audio only does not appear to be reimbursable at this time

  • Licensed Social Workers must use a video conferencing platform. 

  • HIPAA requirements are also eased.

 

 

 

OCR Announces Notification of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth Remote Communications During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency         (March 17th, 2020) 

Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for HIPAA violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. 

 

The Notification of Enforcement Discretion on telehealth remote communications may be found at: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/emergency-preparedness/notification-enforcement-discretion-telehealth/index.html.

 

 


 

Resources for Social Workers

 

Tips and Practices for Telemental Health from Wayne State University

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