The pandemic brought strict social distancing norms. This made people revert to telehealth for their healthcare needs. Over time, telehealth emerged as a new standard. Telehealth saves time and costs for patients. Plus, remote consultations can resolve scheduling conflicts. It also helps in reducing commute costs.

Previously, hands-on exercises delivered chiropractic services. But they have also adopted telehealth. This made it possible for chiropractors to provide patients with the right kind of care. Plus, it helped them maintain the quality of that care too. But the health and relief of your patients is just one part of the story. 

You also need to maintain the revenue cycles of your chiropractic unit. But, billing for telemedicine is not easy. So, healthcare providers must consider insurance coverage. They should also take into account protocols for documentation and even coding regulations. So, read on to learn everything about introducing remote consultations in your unit. Also, learn how to proceed with chiropractic billing.

Understanding Telehealth in Chiropractic Care

Nowadays, more and more healthcare facilities are switching to remote consultations. As per the Doximity survey, around 40% of doctors made telemedicine a staple in their practice by 2020. This adoption rate is considerable. Especially compared to previous telemedicine figures that never met 20%.

Telehealth provides online consultations and follow-ups. It also educates patients online. These may include synchronous or asynchronous modes. Also, these modes include text messages, video meetings, and audio calls. As a result, telehealth for chiropractors helps keep a check on your patient’s symptoms. It also focuses on providing proper medical advice.

Chiropractic care is mostly based on manipulations. But, you can help your patients with self-care routines or exercises. These routines don’t need in-person appointments. Here’s what chiropractors can do through remote consultations:

  • Guide your patients about posture and ergonomics
  • Monitor the progress of patients using online follow-ups
  • Discuss their symptoms and devise a treatment plan
  • Help patients with nutritional guidance and portion control
  • Analyze previous diagnostic tests or health records (MRIs or X-rays)

Telehealth Software for Chiropractic Care: Definition + Uses

Telehealth software for chiropractic care links healthcare providers with their patients. This is also called the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system. This technology helps assess a patient’s progress. It allows secure remote monitoring of their symptoms. Also, this software lets chiropractors track the electronic health records (EHR) of their patients.

For example, when patient X schedules a remote consultation, you can check their medical history. Plus, you can take a look at their responses to treatment plans. As a result, you can come up with a refined approach. Also, telehealth software reduces manual work. Plus, it allows chiropractors to track patient outcomes in one click. 

The software also helps in appointment scheduling. Plus, you can send automated reminders to patients for their remote consultations. As a result, it helps avoid double bookings and no-shows. This double-checking helps in the allocation of resources. Furthermore, in case of queries, your patients can text you through the secure messaging portal. As a result, chiropractors can change their treatment plans according to the patient’s responses. 

How Does Chiropractic Billing for Telehealth Work

1. Coding for Services

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are a collection of medical codes. Chiropractors use these codes to document and bill for services. It is managed by the American Medical Association (AMA). These codes help in healthcare billing across the United States. These codes are a part of medical reporting. Also, CPT codes help in processing your insurance-related claims and billing. They also help process administrative management. 

CPT codes for consultations are 5-digit combinations. These codes describe the initial and follow-up meetings. Plus, you’ll have different codes. These differences depend on the type and length of the consultation. No matter if it is an in-person meeting or a telehealth appointment. 

So, these codes provide a structured billing approach. Moreover, this organization helps providers receive reimbursements for their time. According to Medicare, there are three main types of telemedicine services:

Type of ServiceDefinitionHCPCS/CPT CodePatient-Provider Relationship
E-VisitsPatients can communicate with their doctors through online portals. E-visits are patient-initiated. These can occur during 7 days.CPT codes 99421-99423:  Physicians and nurse practitioners.
HCPCS codes G2061-G2063: Other healthcare professionals.
Requires an existing relationship with the patient.
Virtual Check-InsA short 5-10 min conversation over the phone. This call concludes what’s needed–an appointment, a telehealth session, or a face-to-face meeting.
It may also involve videos/images sent by patients to their healthcare providers as virtual check-ins.
G2012 for brief communication. 
G2010 for remote evaluation of recorded video/images.
Requires an existing relationship with the patient. 

Communication must be unrelated to a medical appointment in the past seven days. Also, it will not lead to a visit in the next 24 hours.
Medicare Telehealth VisitsThese allow patients to use telecommunication for visits via real-time audio and video.Varies by service type.A short 5-10 min conversation over the phone. This call concludes what’s needed–an appointment, a telehealth session, or a face-to-face meeting.
It may also involve videos/images patients send to their healthcare providers as virtual check-ins.

2. Modifier Codes

This is used in medical billing. Modifier codes give insurers more information about the procedure. It also provides the context of services provided. Moreover, it gives insight into the condition of the patient during their visit. These two digital codes are attached to a CPT code. So, this code informs payers that a procedure has been altered without changing its definition.

When it comes to telehealth, certain modifiers tell that a particular chiropractic service was delivered online. Usually, the modifier “95” specifies the use of a telecommunication system for healthcare services. It says that a service was provided in synchronous mode over an audio/video meeting. 

3. Insurance Verification

Before chiropractors or their billing staff sign up a patient for telehealth services, they should verify their insurance coverage. Does it cover telehealth and remote consultations? If it does, are chiropractic consultations included in the plan? These are the questions an insurance verification will help you answer. Getting these answers will help prevent a patient receive a service not covered by their plan. 

Plus, Medicare has the same reimbursement rate for online consultations as in-person visits. But, not all insurance coverages do. So, verifying in advance helps chiropractors know how much reimbursements they will get. As a result, they can adjust their pricing structure accordingly. 

4. Documentation

Similar to in-person appointments, chiropractors should maintain proper documentation. They should also track patient records in remote consultations. This ensures a prompt record of every treatment plan, interaction, and patient progress. Plus, proper documentation ensures that chiropractors are reimbursed accordingly. It also makes sure that patients are billed accurately. 

So, you should aim to maintain detailed records of:

  • Services provided + date and time of the service
  • Duration of the consultation
  • Nature of medical advice/treatment given
  • Follow-up care or the recommended home plan

5. Compliance with Regulations

Telehealth networks are subject to federal and state laws and regulations. This ensures the patients receive personal care. It also helps preserve a high quality. Plus, it maintains the standards of remote consultations. The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) enacts the by-laws. These laws oversee this process for all states. 

Nothing is more important than maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality in telehealth. However, it might be subject to data breaches at times. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States helps prevent such instances. It secures sensitive patient data and has set regulations. It also has rules to prevent disclosures without the patient’s permission or consent. 

So, chiropractors must ensure their telehealth software complies with the regulations. This is important to qualify for chiropractic billing and reimbursements. 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to chiropractic care, adapting billing procedures for remote consultations has become a necessity. Chiropractors should not only be up-to-date with compliance regulations and documentation guidelines. But, they should have detailed knowledge of CPT codes. But getting on top of chiropractic billing means dedicating much of your valuable time. You’ll need to keep a check on reimbursements and insurance claims. Also, you’ll also have to track rejected applications. But all of this time could have been spent on improving your patient care and operations! 

This is where MedICD comes in. It is a full-service medical billing company. MedICD has over two decades of experience in the industry. The company offers services to cover all your telehealth billing needs. From eligibility verification to denial management, it has it all sorted. So, by handing over your chiropractic billing woes to MedICD, you can free up your valuable time.

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