Payment for telephone care

Sanford M. Melzer, Dipti Amin, Jeffrey Lee Brown, Andrew R. Hertz, Charles A. Scott, Elaine Donoghue, Julie Kersten Ake, Thomas K. McInerny, Charles J. Barone, Anthony D. Johnson, Richard Lander, Richard Y. Mitsunaga, Mark S. Reuben, Corinne A. Walentik, Steven E. Wegner, Mark J. Werner, Teri Salus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Telephone care in pediatrics requires medical judgment, is associated with practice expense and medical liability risk, and can often substitute for more costly face-to-face care. Despite this, physicians are infrequently paid by patients or third-party payors for medical services provided by telephone. As the costs of maintaining a practice continue to increase, pediatricians are increasingly seeking payment for the time and work involved in telephone care. This statement reviews the role of telephone care in pediatric practice, the current state of payment for telephone care, and the practical issues associated with charging for telephone care services, a service traditionally provided gratis to patients and families. Specific recommendations are presented for appropriate documenting, reporting, and billing for telephone care services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1768-1773
Number of pages6
JournalPediatrics
Volume118
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • After-hours call centers
  • Non-face-to-face services
  • Payment
  • Telephone care
  • Telephone triage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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