Therapists Getting Denials From Insurance For Telehealth

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Here we are again, almost a year of providing telehealth services, occupational, speech, and physical therapists are fighting for approval from insurance. When the pandemic hit, providers fought insurance companies for weeks to approve telehealth services so that our clients could continue to receive necessary services. Telehealth has been proved extremely beneficial to not only to our clients, but also to their families during the pandemic. We even see greater gains in progress through the use of telehealth services. Insurance was also covering the family's deductible/copays for telehealth services - a financial burden these families did not have to worry about during a pandemic. 

Unfortunately, with the start of 2021, providers are in the same predicament as we were in last year.

Providers continued to submit their claims as they did last year but are receiving mixed denials with no clear answer.  Therefore, this is halting services for some of our families. These children thrive on our services and can not risk having any of their services interrupted. There is no consistency across plans. Some insurance is being applied to the family's deductible (meaning they have to pay for services) while other claims are fully covered. 

We receive mixed messages from Blue Cross Blue Shield representatives when we make calls on all of the plans for all of our clients. At times, providers need to cancel client services to make these phone calls. 

We need clear answers from the insurance company. We need to continue seeing our clients through telehealth services not only during the pandemic, but after the pandemic. We need a quicker turn around on claims - some of us have been waiting a few weeks to hear back from our submitted claims, only to find out that the claim has been denied. We can not interrupt our clients' services, they need us the most during this crucial time. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield, we urge you to notify providers of the current process to bill telehealth services. Our families need us.