We're authorising remote consultations

To support our members and your practice, we’re temporarily authorising specialists and practitioners to carry out remote consultations during this phase of the illness COVID-19.  

We ask that you follow these principles. Please: 

Consultations

  • Offer remote consulting if you feel this is clinically appropriate for your specialism and for the patient in question.
  • Consult by telephone or video, keeping full clinical notes as you would for a normal consultation. Please seek your patient’s consent to either telephone or video consulting, and their permission for any recording you wish to make. Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) providers are responsible for data they collect via audio or video recording.
  • Ensure there are no additional steps in the patient path.
  • If you can no longer carry out in-person consultations at your normal facility, please note that we’ll authorise in-person consultations at a suitable alternative facility, even if out of network.

Records and billing

  • Specialists: email your patient with the summary letter and all test results and copy these to the patient’s GP, with appropriate patient consent for email. Post may be used as a back-up option.
  • Specialists: bill us at your agreed rate for consultation using these new codes, which you will find on our Schedule of Procedures and Fees, Chapter 1.4:
    • 20370 - Remote Consultation 30 Minutes Or More (Initial Consultation)
    • 20360 - Remote Consultation 16 – 29 Minutes (Follow-Up Consultation)
  • Practitioners: bill us at your agreed rate for consultation, using your standard code.
  • Note that the portion of the consulting fee normally paid to the hospital or facility where you consult is a commercial arrangement between provider and facility.

Audit matters

  • The remote consultation replaces an in-person consultation.
  • The remote consultation should not be carried out in addition to an in-person consultation, unless a follow-up, in-person consultation is clinically appropriate.
  • We will monitor the use of remote consultations throughout this period.

This provision for remote consultation is a temporary measure, which we'll honour until December 2020. We'll review the situation before the end of the year and may advise providers to return to in-person consultations on or before this date.