WHEREAS,    MSV Policy 10.9.16 states “The Medical Society of Virginia supports the following principles and will pursue appropriate strategies to enact these principles, including but not limited to direct negotiation with third party payers, regulation through the Board of Medicine, or, if necessary, through state legislation:

1. Physicians should receive appropriate reimbursement for telemedicine encounters for patients with whom they have an established physician-patient relationship.

2. Any financial or equity arrangements between insurance companies and direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies should be fully disclosed to patients.”

WHEREAS,    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unexpected drop in outpatient clinic volumes for primary care and specialty practices across the country, creating financial stress that in some cases led to permanent practice closures, physician and support staff unemployment, and decreased access to care for patients;

WHEREAS,    Expansion of telemedicine and telephone visit coverage and pay parity have mitigated this financial strain for physician practices and access issues for patients; and

WHEREAS,    Projected in-person clinic volumes will continue to be lower for the foreseeable future given patient fear of contracting COVID-19 in a clinical setting, especially given the inevitably of infection surges until viable vaccine is available; and

WHEREAS,    Premature expiration of these expansions will lead to potential financial ruin to practices and decreased access to care for patients; and

WHEREAS,    Flexibility for patients to access their physician via telemedicine or telephone when an office visit is not feasible, especially for those who are homebound or have difficulty arranging transportation, have resulted in more reliable access to care; andi

RESOLVED, that the Medical Society of Virginia amend Policy 10.9.16 to the following:

The Medical Society of Virginia supports telemedicine and telephone visit coverage and pay parity to assure physician practice viability and improve patient access to care.

The Medical Society of Virginia supports the following principles and will pursue appropriate strategies to enact these principles, including but not limited to direct negotiation with third party payers, regulation through the Board of Medicine, or, if necessary, through state legislation:

1. Physicians should receive appropriate reimbursement for telemedicine encounters for patients with whom they have an established physician-patient relationship unless a public health emergency has been declared by state or federal Executive Order, and an exception for new patients shall be permitted.   

2. Any financial or equity arrangements between insurance companies and direct-to-consumer telemedicine companies should be fully disclosed to patients.

 

i https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/29/save-primary-care-devastation-covid-19/

2 replies
  1. tmoffatt
    tmoffatt says:

    I have this listed as 202, but it’s 201

    I don’t understand “pay parity.” If it means the same reimbursement as an office visit, it discounts the “value-added” component of a physical exam or social/medical physical contact: a hand squeeze or back pat. That’s not a message we want to send. This is a Taskforce sized problem, not a “one shot in a limited HOD meeting problem.

  2. RLibby
    RLibby says:

    principle 1

    There should not be a limitation for telemedicine based upon an existing physician-patient relationship.  That unreasonably limits patient choice, access to care, and, as worded, appropriate payment for services provided by a physician who has been consulted.

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