Electronic visits & CPT codes

November 1, 2006

I've been told that temporary CPT codes were created in 2004 for Web-based evaluations. These are not for treatment via e-mail, but to provide secure links for patients to access medical data from a doctor. Do you know which CPT codes are used for e-visits?

Question: I've been told that temporary CPT codes were created in 2004 for Web-based evaluations. These are not for treatment via e-mail, but to provide secure links for patients to access medical data from a doctor. Do you know which CPT codes are used for e-visits?

Answer: The CPT code is 0074T - Online evaluation and management service, per encounter, provided by a physician, using the Internet or a similar electronic communications network, in response to an established patient's request.

The introductory text includes the following admonition: "Reportable services involve the physician's timely response to the patient's inquiry and must involve permanent storage (electronic or hard copy) of the encounter. This service should not be reported for patient contacts (e.g., telephone calls) considered to be pre-service or post-service work for other E&M or non-E&M services. A reportable service would encompass the sum of communication (related telephone calls, prescription provision, laboratory orders) pertaining to the online patient encounter or problem(s)."

Keep in mind that simply having a CPT code does not necessarily mean the service will be paid.