Telehealth services are health services provided by a medical practitioner to a patient (or another medical practitioner) by video.
The use of telehealth services is growing across Canada, with over 50,000 visits recorded in BC alone in 2014.
You can bill MSP for providing telehealth services after giving consultations, visits or counselling via a direct, live video link with an insured patient.
The following are the services that general practitioners can submit claims for (if you're a specialist, search our database here).
MSP Billing Codes for Telehealth Services (General Practice)
*For out-of-office services, the physician providing the service must be physically present in a Health Authority approved facility.
13016 – Consultation
13017 – Visit
13018 – Individual counselling for a prolonged visit
13020 – Telehealth General Practitioner Assistant
Pre-amble Rules and Notes
If the sending and/or receiving medical practitioner are not in a Health Authority approved site, the medical practitioner is responsible for the confidentiality and security of all records and transmissions related to the telehealth service.
In order for payment to be made, the patient must be in attendance at the sending site at the time of the video capture.
Only those services which are designated as telehealth services are payable by MSP. Other services/procedures require face-to-face encounters.
Telehealth services are payable only when provided to a patient with valid medical coverage. Patients must be informed and given opportunity to agree to services rendered using this modality.
In those cases where a specialist service requires a general practitioner at the patient’s site to assist with the essential physical assessment, without which the specialist service would be ineffective, the specialist must indicate in the "Referred by" field that a request was made for a General Practice assisted assessment.
Where a receiving medical practitioner, after having provided a telehealth consultation service to a patient, decides s/he must examine the patient in person, the medical practitioner should claim the subsequent visit as a limited consultation, unless more than 6 months has passed since the telehealth consultation.
Where a telehealth service is interrupted for technical failure, and is not able to be resumed within a reasonable period of time, and therefore is unable to be completed, the receiving medical practitioner should submit a claim under the appropriate miscellaneous code for independent consideration with appropriate substantiating information.
Video technology services are generally payable once per patient/per day/per medical practitioner.
Compensation for travel, scheduling and other logistics is the responsibility of the Regional Health Authority. Rural Retention fee-for-service premiums are applicable to telehealth services and are payable based on the location of the receiving medical practitioner in eligible RSA communities.
BC medical practitioners providing care via telehealth to patients outside the province must abide by the regulations set in the patient’s home province.