Politics & policy

Insight into federal and state health care legislation & CMS regulation

Teleconsultations: HCFA Issues New Payment Rules

The Health Care Financing Administration has issued proposed rules on payment for physicians and other providers, such as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and clinical social workers, for teleconsultations under Medicare.

Under the proposed regulations, teleconsultation is considered a new way or process of delivering a consultation, not a new medical service. Therefore, according to the rules, to qualify for Medicare payment, "the patient must be present and the telecommunications technology must allow the consulting practitioner to control an interactive medical examination of the patient."

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