The ADA has been very helpful in continuing to issue guidance on teledentistry billing and current policies from insurance carriers. We look forward to seeing more carriers offer reimbursement for evaluations conducted via teledentistry during the COVID-19 outbreak. This valuable technology can keep practices in touch with their patients, support effective oral health triage for emergency appointments and allow for improved care coordination.
The ADA has published guidelines for coding these teledentistry encounters:
• D0140 — limited oral evaluation, problem focused
• D0170 — re-evaluation, limited, problem focused (established patient; not post-operative visit)
• D0171 — re-evaluation, post-operative office visit
Together with the teledentistry codes
• D9995 — teledentistry synchronous; real-time encounter
• D9996 — teledentistry asynchronous; information stored and forwarded to dentist for subsequent review
This guidance from the ADA gives dentists a direction toward proper billing for teledentistry encounters. Evaluations conducted via teledentistry may be a path toward revenue while your office is closed.
Note: in some cases, problem focused evaluations could be billable for new patients as well!