Partner Nate Lacktman was quoted in an mHealth Intelligence
article, "CMS Code Gives Docs a Chance to Use Store-and-Forward Telehealth
," about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' decision to begin reimbursing providers using store-and-forward (asynchronous) telehealth to analyze and diagnose images sent to them from established patients.
Lacktman said it's worth noting that many industry advocates supported coverage of this code for new patients, particularly in dermatology and ophthalmology. "This service could also be valuable in urology, as it would provide a way to assess new patients with conditions such as hematuria (blood in the urine) in a timely manner," he said.
He pointed out, however, that the new code has its limitations. One is that it can only be used on established patients. Another is that it covers telemedicine technologies that involve pre-recorded, patient-generated still or video images submitted by the patient, not data derived from a questionnaire or survey. "CMS rejected proposals to include, within the scope of this code, email/messaging or questionnaires/assessments that do not include an image or other visual item," he said.