HCN News & Notes

AMA to Accelerate Integration of Telehealth Services into Clinical Practice

PHILADELPHIA — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) took a significant step toward its goal of accelerating digital medicine into clinic practice with the foundational meeting of an AMA-sponsored workgroup charged with facilitating the integration of the latest technological advances in telehealth services into the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set.

The new Telehealth Services Workgroup, a committee comprising more than 50 experts representing physicians, health professionals, telemedicine innovators, and health insurers, gathered for the first time to begin its vital role as a facilitator for proposals that will expand CPT’s current telehealth codes to include emerging services.

“The CPT code set is the foundation upon which every participant in the medical community — physicians, hospitals, allied-health professionals, payers, and others — can efficiently share accurate information about medical services,” said AMA President Dr. Steven Stac. “Input from the Telehealth Services Workgroup will help the CPT code set reflect new technological and telehealth advancements available to mainstream clinical practice, and ensures the code set can fulfill its role as the health system’s common language for reporting contemporary medical procedures.”

As emerging telehealth services and remote patient monitoring become more important to the management of patient care, the Telehealth Services Workgroup will provide editorial input on proposed coding changes and additions to CPT intended to enhance the reporting of innovative telehealth services that advance medicine’s overarching goal of reducing disease burdens, improving health outcomes, and reducing long-term care costs.

“Ensuring that CPT codes accurately reflect the telehealth services provided to patients is only possible through the dedication and direct input of the advisors on the Telehealth Service Workgroup,” Stack said. “Tapping into the clinical and technological expertise of the healthcare community and innovators produces the practical enhancements that CPT needs to reflect the coding demands of the modern healthcare system.”