Embracing telemedicine into your otolaryngology practice amid the COVID-19 crisis: An invited commentary

Am J Otolaryngol. May-Jun 2020;41(3):102490. doi: 10.1016/j.amjoto.2020.102490. Epub 2020 Apr 15.


The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly and radically altered how Otolaryngologists provide patient care in the outpatient setting. Continuity of care with established patients as well as establishment of a professional relationship with new patients is challenging during this Public Health Emergency (PHE). Many geographic areas are under "stay at home" or "shelter in place" directives from state and local governments to avoid COVID-19 exposure risks. Medicare has recently allowed "broad flexibilities to furnish services using remote communications technology to avoid exposure risks to health care providers, patients, and the community." [1] The implementation of telemedicine, or virtual, services, will help the Otolaryngologists provide needed care to patients while mitigating the clinical and financial impact of the pandemic. The significant coding and billing issues related to implementing telemedicine services are discussed to promote acceptance of this technology by the practicing Otolaryngologist. Of particular importance, outpatient visit Current Procedural Terminology® codes (99201-99215) may be used for telehealth visits performed in real-time audio and video.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicare / economics
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Otolaryngologists / economics
  • Otolaryngologists / statistics & numerical data
  • Otolaryngology / economics
  • Otolaryngology / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pandemics / economics
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pandemics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / organization & administration*
  • Remote Consultation / organization & administration
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine / organization & administration*
  • United States