On December 20, 2021, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a new modifier to indicate real-time telemedicine services provided via audio-only mechanism. The use of the new modifier will be subject to individual payer policy. The new modifier, below, is effective January 1, 2022.
Modifier 93 – Synchronous Telemedicine Service Rendered Via Telephone or Other Real-Time Interactive Audio-Only Telecommunications System: Synchronous telemedicine service is defined as a real-time interaction between a physician or other qualified health care professional and a patient who is located away at a distant site from the physician or other qualified health care professional. The totality of the communication of information exchanged between the physician or other qualified health care professional and the patient during the course of the synchronous telemedicine service must be of an amount and nature that is sufficient to meet the key components and/or requirements of the same service when rendered via a face-to-face interaction.
AAPM&R will be monitoring payer decisions regarding whether they will be reimbursing for audio-only services coded with the new modifier.