DWC Posts Adjustments to Official Medical Fee Schedule to Encourage Provision of Telehealth Services for Workers’ Compensation Medical Treatment
In light of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the Executive Orders issued by Governor Newsom, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has posted an order adjusting the Physician Services / Non-Physician Practitioner Services Fee Schedule to adopt changes that will encourage expanded use of telehealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The changes are based upon Medicare’s public health emergency Physician Fee Schedule interim revisions, which adopt an expanded list of services that may be provided through telehealth, and which modify the “Place of Service” code for telehealth. Adoption of the Medicare telehealth code list will encourage the expanded use of telehealth by identifying services which may be provided through telehealth where medically appropriate and identified by modifier 95. The adoption of the Place of Service code revision will encourage use of telehealth by equalizing the payment for a service whether provided in a physician’s office or through telehealth using real time audio and video telecommunications.
DWC encourages the provision of medical treatment by telehealth in lieu of in-person visits whenever medically appropriate, in order to protect patients and health care providers and to support the crucial effort to slow the community spread of the COVID-19 virus. Increased use of telehealth for workers’ compensation treatment is in alignment with the goals of the Governor’s “stay at home” Executive Order, and Executive Order regarding telehealth services.
The DWC order and revised regulation text, effective for services rendered on or after April 15, 2020, can be found on the Physician and Non-Physician Practitioner fee schedule web page.