Telemedicine is quickly becoming a valuable practice in the medical community, with many doctors offering virtual care services to their patients. Aside from being able to treat patients remotely, one major advantage to telemedicine is that it reduces costs and helps healthcare organizations manage capacity. Yet many providers new to virtual care share the same question: “How will I be reimbursed?”
Insurance and Health Plan Policies
Medicare, Medicaid and commercial health plans all have different reimbursement policies.
Medicare pays for a limited number of Part B services delivered over live, real-time videoconferencing, such as GlobalMed provides. However, it does not cover the Direct-to-Consumer telehealth services in which a consumer pays a fee to speak with a physician on the phone. For the complete details on its policy, we recommend visiting the CY2018 Medicare Telehealth Services guide.
Because Medicaid programs are managed by individual states, there’s no standard for telemedicine benefits. Many states do cover live, real-time clinical telemedicine visits. Private insurance will reimburse providers for virtual visits in some states, but this depends on the plan and the area. Before delivering virtual care, we recommend contacting the patient’s insurance carrier to review coverage.
Provider income varies based on a number of factors, including location and specialty. The same applies to providers offering telemedicine services. Zip Recruiter states that telemedicine physician pay ranges from around $173,000 to $239,000 annually with the state of New York providing the highest average pay for telemedicine professionals, but most providers are reimbursed for both in-person and virtual care.
A final consideration is that telemedicine can help manage capacity, allowing hospitals and clinics to see an increasing volume of patients without an increase in costs, staff or supplies. You can use telemedicine hardware and virtual care apps to provide top-tier patient services with lower overhead – which can increase your organizational profits.
To dive deeper into the life of a telemedicine provider, give us a call at 877-959-4713 or take a look at our GlobalMed demo. You’ll get a better idea of how telemedicine can change your practice and help your patients live healthier lives.