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Telehealth vs E-visits I CMS Update

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Jessica Shaw

With COVID-19 being the cause for thousands of appointment cancellations and business closures, the need for alternative delivery of healthcare services has never been so critical to the survival and stability of society. Like you, Raintree has been paying close attention to the constant changes being made by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). With telemedicine on the rise, we wanted to provide you with the basic distinctions between telehealth and e-visits. 

As you probably know, CMS has been releasing updates almost every day in regard to telehealth coverage and limitations. As of today (4/6/2020) all levels of therapy services which include CPT codes 97161- 97168, 97110, 97112, 97116, 97535, 97750, 97755, 97760, 97761, 92521- 92524, 92507 are now covered codes for telehealth; however, it is still unclear as to if PT and OT therapists are approved providers for telehealth services. Nevertheless, PT practices are permitted to perform digital communications with patients through an e-visit and the use of HCPCS codes G2061-G2063 once per 7 day period. An e-visit permits patient engagement through text and voice whereas telehealth allows virtual face to face interactions over video. 

In terms of billing e-visits, there are three G-Codes eligible for use in conjunction with the CR/DR modifiers (Crisis Relief / Disaster Relief). These codes were developed for short-term assessment and management for patients who are not able or are not comfortable coming into a physical office location.

If you are interested in learning more about the 1135 waiver and which providers are recognized by CMS to utilize telehealth, you can visit or to review more in depth questions regarding the restrictions, billing, coding and process of e-visits.

How Can Raintree Help?

  • Raintree has telehealth available now. CMS has stated this can be used for NEW patients as well as established patients. We want to make sure you are aware of Raintree’s telehealth capabilities that afford you the opportunity to provide services and care to your patients, while avoiding the hassle of canceled appointments and rescheduling visits. Additionally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are waiving our setup, configuration and training fees for this product. The setup is easily done within one day for customers who already utilize Connect but varies for those who do not. 
  • Along with telehealth, CMS will pay for e-visits which allows you to communicate with your patients through digital messages via text, email or your private patient portal. Raintree’s e-visit service ticket is designed to utilize all of these communication methods and produce a single note with a charge. However, it is important to remember that an e-visit can only be billed once per 7 day period.
  • Raintree also has a virtual check-in service ticket that allows you to submit a bill  when you review incoming documents or pictures from your patients. This is only allowed if it is not within 7 days of an E/M visit or does not result in a new E/M visit in the next 24 hours.
  • We can also help you generate automated mass text and email messages to your patients in order to let them know you have e-visit and telehealth services available. Our solutions packages are built with features and tools that enable business continuity and extend efforts to elevate patient care.

Raintree’s built in virtual communication hub for remote healthcare staff, patients and referrals gives you access to tools that allow everyone to stay connected and most importantly, accurately informed. During this time of uncertainty, it is crucial that we all communicate and work together in providing accessible healthcare to everyone. 

Please let us know if you have any questions about our telehealth services and if you are interested in learning more. You can open a case directly in Raintree to get any of these features installed or you can contact our client services team at or visit our website

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