Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers virtual check-ins (also called “brief communication technology-based services”) with your doctors and certain other practitioners.
Virtual check-ins allow you to talk to your doctor or certain other practitioners, like nurse practitioners or physician assistants, using a device like your phone, integrated audio/video system, or captured video image without going to the doctor’s office.
Your doctor or other practitioner can respond to you using:
- Secure text messages
- Use of a patient portal
Virtual check-ins can be used for the treatment for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from anywhere, including places of residence (like homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities).
- You must talk to your doctor or other practitioner to start these types of visits.
- The communication must not be related to a medical visit within the past 7 days and must not lead to the medical visit within the next 24 hours (or the soonest appointment available).
- You must verbally consent to the virtual check-in, and your consent must be documented in your medical record. Beginning January 1, 2020 your doctor may obtain a single consent for a year’s worth of these services.
- Medicare also covers E-visits and Medicare telehealth.