Electronic mail and telephone calls are becoming a larger part of medical care every year. In many instances, a call to your provider is an effective way to continue your medical care saving you time without sacrificing quality of care. The American Medical Association (AMA) and government agencies have worked to institute CPT (billing) codes intended to allow medical service providers to receive reimbursement from insurance companies for services provided either by telephone or email.
Over the years the reductions in our fee schedule by your insurance plan, combined with rising overhead, has now deteriorated to the point that, sadly, our practice is no longer able to absorb this cost and provide this service free of charge. Going forward, similarly to other professionals, such as accountants and attorneys, we will now be billing for these services in ten minute increments, but only under the circumstances outlined below. When our providers believe a visit to be in your best interest, you will be asked to come to the office for a face-to-face visit. Our billing staff will submit claims for these services on your behalf to your insurance company. Please note, Medicare will not reimburse for these services, but other health plans may.
You will not be billed for email and telephone calls if any of the following conditions are true:
- You are scheduling an appointment as a result of the email/phone call.
- You have had an appointment in the previous 7 calendar days.
- You have had a procedure in the previous 10 calendar days.
For situations other than those listed above, you will be billed for email and phone calls according to the following rates:
- 99441 5-10 minute phone call, physician $50
- 99442 11-20 minute phone call, physician $70
- 99443 21-30 minute phone call, physician $90
- 99444 E-mail response by physician $35
- 98966 5-10 minute phone call, physician assistant $20
- 98967 11-20 minute phone call, physician assistant $40
- 99448 21-30 minute phone call, physician assistant $60
- 98969 E-mail sent by physician assistant $15
To determine whether and how much of this charge may be reimbursed by your health plan, you may call the customer service number on the back of your insurance card, provide them with the 5 digit code starting with “9” listed above, and ask them if this code is covered and what your specific financial responsibility will be with respect to the code.