The COVID-19 crisis saw the rapid adoption of telehealth services that enable healthcare providers to use technology and electronic information to safely see their patients. Telehealth providers can remotely diagnose, treat and monitor patients who otherwise are unable to receive in-person medical care. They connect with their patients through the internet, video conferencing, streaming video, imaging, telephone calls and other electronic communications. Patients enjoy the safety and flexibility that telehealth provides for both routine and chronic care.
Now that the initial rush has passed, many providers are beginning to evaluate whether the telehealth business processes and policies they quickly put in place are effective for optimizing reimbursement opportunities and reducing compliance and privacy risks. Many telehealth providers have experienced lost charges, lower than expected reimbursements and denials for untimely filing, coding errors, incompatible services and lack of coverage, all of which affect the financial well-being of their practices. Many providers also may be subject to retroactive audits of their coding and medical record documentation for telehealth services.