The information below pertains to the major payers in Alabama as of 3/18/2020 – 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is allowing providers to bill for phone call treatment of 

existing patients under the established patient office visit codes from 3/16/2020 – 4/16/2020. 

They are allowing codes up to 99213 with place of service code 02 (zero two) for telehealth. 

No modifier is required. Many providers are concerned about reaching that level of service 

when no examination can be performed. Remember that established patient office visits require 

only two of the three key components – history, examination, medical decision-making. If the 

physician documents an expanded problem-focused history and low complexity medical 

decision-making, 99213 will be supported. This must be the physician speaking with the patient, 

not the office staff.

For more info: Medical Association of the State of Alabama

HIPPA Compliant Teleconference Platform Options:

  • Simple Visit is video compatible with any communication platform. There is a $500 joining fee and $150 per month charge for up to 40 video sessions. Need more? Contact Simple Visit directly for a customized quote for your practice. 
  • plans are $35 for one provider or $50 per provider in a multi-provider practice setting. 
  • Zoom-Healthcare plans begin at $200 per month.
  • DrFirst plans are available by quote request only. 

The Physicians Foundation Announces The Telehealth Initiative to Improve Access to Quality Health Care

The Physicians Foundation, American Medical Association, Florida Medical Association, Massachusetts Medical Society and Texas Medical Association, today announced the launch of The Telehealth Initiative, which helps physicians implement telehealth services. With the current COVID-19 crisis, the organizations moved up the Initiative’s launch to support physicians in their shift to telehealth models as a means to reduce exposure and minimize surges in care facilities.

The current COVID-19 crisis reinforces the need for physician access to practical resources that will enable them to operate telehealth services efficiently while facilitating positive care team and patient experiences. Through The Telehealth Initiative, physicians are able to participate in immersive evidence-based coaching that will help improve patient access, experience and outcomes while maintaining continuity of care when fully implemented. 

The program helps participating physicians redesign their practices to successfully provide telehealth services to their patients. Additionally, the Initiative is providing free, online access to resources to encourage all physicians to consider telehealth services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth will help physicians respond to surges in sick patients needing care and protect non-infected patients with other acute or chronic conditions from potential exposure to the virus.

Resources available include:

The Telehealth Initiative organizational leaders shared the following:

  • “With our health care system confronting COVID-19’s unprecedented toll on the world, medical expertise is critical to flattening the curve and saving lives. Telehealth allows us to reach more patients while protecting our health care workforce,” said Gary Price, M.D., president of The Physicians Foundation. “In this time of uncertainty, The Physicians Foundation and our partners are committed to bringing together medical organizations across the country to put practical resources and tools in the hands of all physicians, so they are able to remain on the frontlines of protecting healthy people and treating those infected with COVID-19.”
  • “The use of telemedicine and remote care services are critical to the safe management of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also ensuring uninterrupted care for 100 million Americans with chronic conditions,” said Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A., president of the American Medical Association (AMA). “The AMA strongly encourages the adoption of telemedicine as a responsible way for physicians to meet anticipated demands for care and treatment. The AMA also successfully advocated for revised federal policies that provide physicians with the maximum flexibility they need to provide remote care services. We applaud the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for taking these important steps. The AMA stands ready to help physicians with resources that provide physicians with a proven path for integrating telemedicine and digital health technologies into patient care.”
  • “Telehealth will help Florida physicians provide more options for their patients and improve access to medical care in our state,” said Ronald Giffler, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., president of the Florida Medical Association (FMA). “The FMA is excited to be part of this initiative, which will allow us to better serve our members in a dynamic health care environment.”
  • "The Massachusetts Medical Society is proud to partner with like-minded organizations to take a leadership role in educating our physician colleagues and accelerating the pace of adoption and implementation of telemedicine in health care so that appropriate care can be provided conveniently and safely for all patients,” said Maryanne C. Bombaugh, M.D., president of the Massachusetts Medical Society.
  • “Physicians know how important it is for us to give our patients the option of obtaining safe, high-quality medical care digitally,” said David C. Fleeger, M.D., president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). “TMA wants to provide tools and pragmatic guidance for physicians, so that we can embrace telemedicine and appropriately offer it to our existing patients and maintain continuity of care. The generous grant from The Physicians Foundation allows TMA to accelerate our work and get this information to physicians quickly, which is vital as we see COVID-19 take its grip on the public’s daily routine.”

About The Physicians Foundation

About the American Medical Association 

About the Florida Medical Association

About the Massachusetts Medical Society

About the Texas Medical Association

Resources from the AMA – No Membership Required

The American Medical Association (AMA) provides their Digital Health Implementation Playbook free of charge online, regardless of membership status.  It offers key steps, best practices and resources to accelerate the adoption and scale of digital health solutions.  The step-by-step guide to implementing remote patient monitoring will support patient compliance efforts, and the real practice case studies may be of vital importance as you fine tune your implementation plans.

The AMA also offers a CME module, a total of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, on Health Information Technology, including telehealth, at no cost. Learn more on the AMA’s Ed Hub.

Federal Resources:

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) operates, with resources available for patients and health care organizations. Their web page on telemedicine and telehealth offers the following resources, which may be of particular use to practices during the process of implementing telehealth in their practice:

Special thanks to the Montgomery County (MD) Medical Society for much of the information on this page.

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