Insurance Payments for Telemedicine Visits Extended to September

By David Doolittle

Originally published on the Texas Medical Association’s website.

Texas-regulated insurers must continue to pay for telemedicine services, including mental health visits, at the same rate as in-person visits through Sept. 12, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) said today.

TDI announced it is extending the requirement that was part of an emergency rule that has been in place since March. It was set to expire July 14.

Under the emergency rule, state-regulated health insurers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) also must:

  1. Cover telemedicine services using any platform permitted by state law; and
  2. Not require more documentation for telemedicine services than they require for in-person services.

To make telemedicine available to more patients and their physicians during the emergency declaration period, many state and federal rules and regulations regarding telehealth, including a waiver for audio-only visits, have been relaxed temporarily.

Click here to read the full article.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/29/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 11,739*

COVID-19 related deaths: 225

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 5059

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Monday, June 29, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/27/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 11,083*

COVID-19 related deaths: 224

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 5012

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Saturday, June 27, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

COVID-19 Deadlines for Doctors

Originally published on Texas Medical Association’s website.

The following deadlines and extensions are in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aetna is moving its provider portal to Availity (from NaviNet) effective May 31. After that date, you’ll lose access to Aetna on NaviNet, including electronic transactions. Aetna also: 

  1. Has extended coverage for commercial telemedicine service, including audio-only visits, through Aug. 4; and  
  2. Will no longer waive cost sharing for any in-network telemedicine visits for commercial plans starting June 4

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has extended access to telemedicine/telehealth services with no cost sharing for all medically necessary, covered services and treatments through June 30. That access was set to expire May 31. 

Cigna will extend certain cost-share waivers, including customer cost-sharing for telemedicine screenings for COVID-19, and other benefits through at least July 31.

Several Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program(CHIP) flexibilities, including paying for Texas Health Steps (THSteps) medical checkups via telemedicine and CHIP copay waivers, will be extended through June 30. Payments had been set to expire May 31.

Medicare’s 2020 Quality Payment Program (QPP) registration window is open for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) web interface reporting method and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey through June 30.  

Medicare’s 2019 QPP final performance feedback, which includes your overall MIPS score (0-100 point scale) and 2021 Medicare payment adjustment (bonus or cut) worth up to 7%, is expected July 1 via the  QPP portal. Physicians who did not submit any 2019 MIPS data or who filed an application for an exception due to COVID-19 should not receive a 2021 payment cut. 

Find each payer’s effective and expiration dates of waivers on this chart on the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Resource Center.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/26/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 10,363*

COVID-19 related deaths: 218

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 4771

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Friday, June 26, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/24/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 9846*

COVID-19 related deaths: 215

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 4682

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/23/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 9386*

COVID-19 related deaths: 211

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 4513

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/19/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 8331*

COVID-19 related deaths: 207

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 3691

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Friday, June 19, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/18/20

COVID-19 Positive cases: 8099*

COVID-19 related deaths: 205

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 3627

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Thursday, June 18, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.

Tarrant County COVID-19 Activity – 6/16/20


COVID-19 Positive cases: 7642*

COVID-19 related deaths: 198

Recovered COVID-19 cases: 3299

Data from Tarrant County Public Heath’s (TCPH) report of COVID-19 activity in Tarrant County, updated Tuesday, June 16, 2020. Find more COVID-19 information from TCPH here.

* These data are provisional and are subject to change at any time.

Deaths and recovered cases are included in total COVID-19 positive cases.