Thursday, February 18, 2010

Telemedicine : Psychiatry is using it w/ modifiers: why not Psychology?

Here is an e mail to my colleagues at the Div 42 listserv in order to try and determine if anyone in psychology knows anything about how to utilize telemedicine and why psychologists would be required to use a camera when they are not doing a physical exam ----particularly salient to (1) rural clients (2) rural clients trapped by snow (3) psychologists who know well their clients.

Anyone knows anything out there, give me a shout:

here is what I have asked of APA's Diane Pedulla ( and Tony Puente, PhD, whom was doing a lot of work on CPT coding for many years: thanks Tony for that good work):

"Hi Division 42, Independent Practice of the American Psychological Association listserv colleagues:

Medicare is beginning to utilize telemedicine. I have a lot of rural clients whom I see in their homes. I want to make the case that telemedicine would serve them well.

In western NC,which is mostly rural, Smoky Mountain Center LME, the administrator of mental health services, is utilizing psychiatric telemedicine and the director of emergency services indicates that there are modifiers associated w/ that.

Does anyone know about this re: the work that psychologists do? It seems to me that the purpose of the camera, if that is the sticking point, is associated w/ being able to identify the patient. If you KNOW the patient from having seen them, then why the need for the camera?

We're not doing physical exams such as would be useful, for instance, in psychiatry. And I can understand why the camera would be useful for emergency services in order to identify symptoms.

thanks and here is a bit of information I gathered a few months back:

"Sunday, September 06, 2009
Medicare's Telemedicine doesn't work if you don't have a computer w/ a camera

Well, I talked to an employee of CIGNA Government Services which oversees Medicare for NC; TN; ID (weird, true)....
Monday, August 17, 2009

Telemedicine arrives to Medicare



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