Steps taken to increase use of electronic tools in medicine
In the 2018 Medicare physician fee schedule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) followed the recommendation of the AMA and industry stakeholders to unbundle CPT code 99091 for remote patient monitoring. This move has allowed for greater use of technology by providing a pathway for physicians to be paid for nonface-to-face patient care activities.
To help address the complexities that could serve as barriers to adoption of electronic tools into care delivery, the AMA convened experts into the Digital Medicine Payment Advisory Group, which was created at the start of 2017. The group has made several applications to the CPT Editorial Panel, including new codes for initial setup and patient education of the monitoring equipment; initial collection, transmission, and report to the managing clinician; and interpretation of the received data. Two new Interprofessional Internet Consultation codes will allow the reporting of nonverbal communication between consulting and treating physicians.
The CMS has acknowledged this work and believes "that activating CPT code 99091 will serve to facilitate appropriate payment for these services in the short term," according to the report.
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