Can Dentists Bill For Telemedicine Under Medicare?
Can dentists bill Medicare for Telemedicine? This is one of the trickiest questions to answer.
But, YES, Medicare does reimburse for Telemedicine.
Especially in this time of a global pandemic crisis, Telemedicine plays a significant role for all health care providers, including dentists who are increasingly wielding colossal effort to expand patient access and efficiently provide care.
Many people in different parts of the United States are unable to leave their homes. Many of these people may need to access essential medical care without attending a facility.
Medicare enrollees are over 65 years and have a higher risk of complications due to COVID-19. Telehealth services are one way for them to stay at home and decrease the risk of transmitting the virus. Learn more about Medicare and Telehealth, and Covid-19 via Medical News Today
Though you have to understand that Medicare has limitations of the type of healthcare professionals who are eligible to provide telemedicine services to Medicare beneficiaries, including:
- Nurse practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Clinical nurse specialists
- Clinical psychologists and social workers
- Registered dieticians or nutrition professionals
But what is TeleMedicine? There is also Telehealth and Teledentistry, are they all the same?
This article will try to explain these topics and differentiate all these essential terms that we need to know to avoid confusion before diving deeper.
What are Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Teledentistry?
Telemedicine is the practice of caring for patients remotely, even when the provider and patient are physically away from each other. With the help of modern technology, Telemedicine has enabled patients to consult their health care providers through videoconferencing tools.
Telehealth includes various telemedicine systems that allow access to health service available even from a distance.
Terms Telehealth and Telemedicine are often used interchangeably.
Teledentistry people who lack access to a dental service or care or live away from a dental facility can be helped through this level of care via phone or videoconferencing.
In almost all cases, Medicare reimburses for a real-time video chat between a physician and patient. Medicare also reimburses for store-and-forward telemedicine services, but it’s limited to Hawaii and Alaska only.
In dentistry, telehealth patients can be examined in their homes, with a laptop and an intraoral camera. It can be useful for patients who are starting to take care of their oral care journey or attending o their dental care needs.
What is the importance of Telehealth in Dentistry
- Convenient access to dental care
- Low cost of care
- Improvement in patient satisfaction
How Telemedicine Is Transforming the Dental Industry
Dental professionals are taking a step forward and have started offering telemedicine services, where some oral health conditions can now be practically examined, diagnosed, and treated virtually without the need for the patient’s or practitioners’ physical presence.
Telehealth may cover many healthcare areas, including general health, counseling and psychiatry, physical therapy, and dentistry. Many health insurance providers cover telemedicine services. It is said that it is usually cheaper for the insurance company than a traditional office visit since there are far fewer overhead expenses to cover.
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