Effective immediately, new billing codes for “virtual” patient visits via telephone and video calls introduced for the pandemic will become permanent.
In March, government introduced new and expanded billing codes for virtual care to aid in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Virtual care has been an important part of our COVID-19 response, protecting patients, doctors, and clinic staff by providing an alternative to office visits that avoids the risk of contact with the virus. These visits have proved their value, so we’re making them permanent, to allow physicians and patients to keep using them as appropriate while being fairly compensated.” ~Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
All existing rules for virtual care codes remain in place.
- Permanent billing codes include patient visits, consultations, and mental health services provided over the phone or through secure video conference.
- In-person physician and specialist care will continue. Virtual services will be offered by physicians and specialists where appropriate.
- These permanent virtual codes will not be subject to the daily patient visit cap.
- Details of the changes are communicated in Bulletin 231.
- Rates vary depending on specialty and service, and are the same as current basic in-person rates.