APA joins AMA telehealth policy group
Randy Phelps, PhD, APA’s senior advisor for health care financing and part of the leadership of the APA Center for Psychology and Health, has been appointed to an important telehealth policy work group convened by the American Medical Association. The AMA work group will address CPT billing codes and payment issues related to health care services that utilize telehealth technology.
Representing APA’s Office of Health Care Financing (OHCF), Phelps will be the only nonphysician society representative on the seven-organization core work group. Phelps was chosen because of APA’s recognized expertise and collaborative approach to the AMA CPT code development process. “Having a seat at this key policy table means that APA will be well-positioned to help develop the future coding and payment systems used for telehealth services delivery in this country,” says Phelps.
The telehealth work group’s mission is to create innovative pathways for reporting telehealth services, one of the fastest growing areas of the changing health care system. This is critically important because the existing CPT code set has focused almost exclusively on in-office or in-facility, face-to-face services. Telehealth services and the resources needed to provide them need to be considered from a different perspective than traditionally provided services. As a member of this AMA work group, Phelps will focus on “services furnished to patients outside of traditional health care settings via real-time, interactive communication technology,” he says.