AMA sets up workgroup to integrate telehealth services
October 20, 2015
The American Medical Association (AMA) has taken a step towards its goal of accelerating digital medicine into clinical 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 CPT current procedural terminology code set.
The Telehealth Services Workgroup, a committee comprised of more than 50 experts representing physicians, health professionals, telemedicine innovators and health insurers, gathered this month for the first time to begin its role as a facilitator for proposals that will expand CPT's 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 Steven Stack. "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 fulfil 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 workgroup will provide editorial input on proposed coding changes and additions to CPT intended to enhance the reporting of innovative telehealth services to 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," said Stack. "Tapping into the clinical and technological expertise of the health care community and innovators produces the practical enhancements that CPT needs to reflect the coding demands of the modern health care system."