Billing Telephone Calls Longer than 30 Minutes

Billing Telephone Calls Longer than 30 Minutes

April 30, 2020

Question:
We cannot locate a response from any reliable coding resource about how to bill telephone calls lasting more than 30 min. Do you have any guidance on this topic?

Answer:
Although telephone calls for both new and established patients are temporarily billable during the current COVID-19 public health emergency, there is not a way to bill for additional minutes over 30 for a phone call. Telephone calls (99441-99443) can only be billed at one unit a day and only include the time for the billing provider talking to the patient, not staff time talking to the patient.

Although prolonged service codes are listed as billable for telehealth visits, telephone calls are not considered telehealth services, so prolonged service codes would not apply for billing to Medicare. However, commercial payors may have different billing flexibilities during this crisis, so you will want to check with your commercial payors.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 04/30/20.

 

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