Ontario expands billing codes to cover virtual patient visits as part of its response to COVID-19

Canada’s Globe and Mail highlighted Think Research’s VirtualCare platform in a report on how Ontario is expanding virtual medicine to help fight COVID-19.

The article, published March 14, 2020, discusses the expansion of billing codes for provincial health insurance coverage, which now include virtual clinician services. Previously, clinicians could only bill for in-person visit to a medical office.

Accessing healthcare services through a remote communications program like VirtualCare helps patients and clinicians reduce the risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. Digital access also reduces in-person visits for non-urgent matters that may otherwise add to overload within the healthcare system during the pandemic.

The move towards virtual visits for clinical services has been an upward trend in healthcare for some time, but COVID-19’s spread has prompted a more rapid shift, the story details.

The article quotes Think Research’s CEO Sachin Aggarwal on the benefits of virtual visits.

“It won’t just be the fee codes that make the difference, it’ll be the adoption of the technology,” said Aggarwal. “It becomes a part of your work-flow for a lot of care providers for whom the fee code doesn’t really matter.

“It’s just going to change their practice. Once they learn how to do a virtual visit and deliver their care in that manner, a lot of them just aren’t going to go back.”

For more information on how your clinic or office can adopt VirtualCare, call 1-877-302-1861 or email virtualcareinfo@thinkresearch.com.

Read the Globe story.