Mei Kwong at the Center for Connected Health policy sent the following policy brief through email yesterday:

The proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for FY 2016 was released today. After a quick read, some of the telehealth highlights are:

CMS proposes reimbursing these additional codes if the service is delivered via telehealth:

99356 & 99357 – both are under prolong service in the inpatient or observation setting requiring unit/floor time beyond the usual service

CMS also proposes adding the following end-stage renal disease codes: 90963, 90964, 90965, 90966 (the different codes go for different age groups). These codes are ESRD related services for home dialysis per full month. What makes this interesting is that it’s for HOME dialysis. The proposal notes that the home isn’t an eligible site for Medicare telehealth services but says, “we recognize that many components of these services would be furnished from an authorized originating site and, therefore, can be furnished via telehealth.”

They go on to say that the required clinical examination of the catheter access site has to be furnished in-person.

Additionally, they’re adding “Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists as Practitioners for Telehealth Services” to the list of eligible providers. CRNAs had originally been omitted from the regulations as an eligible provider because Medicare didn’t think they would be providing services via telehealth but are now saying, “CRNAs in some states are licensed to furnish certain services on the telehealth list, including E/M services.”