March 30, 2020

CMS Approves the Use of ED E/M Codes for Telehealth

Today, CMS released a regulation that added the emergency department (ED) evaluation and management (E/M) codes (CPT codes 99281 to 99285) to the list of approved Medicare telehealth services for the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency.

CMS had previously expanded the ability  to perform telehealth services, but had not allowed emergency physicians to use the ED E/M codes—which most accurately reflect the intensity and value of emergency services .

ACEP had identified this issue as a top regulatory priority, and through ACEP’s advocacy, CMS has now recognized that ED E/M codes are indeed the most appropriate codes to use when delivering emergency telehealth services.

We hope CMS will consider adding these codes permanently to the list of  approved Medicare telehealth services.

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