Telemedicine is defined as a medical service provided to a patient presenting at an approved telemedicine site, through the recording of visual images and transmission of those images to a receiving physician at an approved telemedicine site.
Tariffs and Rules of Application for Telemedicine are set out on pages B‑19 and B‑20 of the Physician’s Manual.
Telemedicine tariffs apply to both “live” services using a direct interactive video link with a patient, and “store and forward” services, which utilize technology to record, store and subsequently transmit visual images.
Telemedicine tariffs are only payable when both the patient AND the receiving physician are at an approved telemedicine site within Manitoba. Approved sites are any:
- Facility designated as a Hospital
- Nursing Station
- Personal Care Home
Exceptions will only be made with prior approval from Manitoba Health.
Specialists and General Practitioners may claim as either receiving physicians or assisting physicians.
The following tariffs and rules apply when claiming as a receiving physician.
Live Telemedicine — Tariff 8480 may be claimed for live telemedicine and will be paid at a rate equivalent to the rate for the bloc’s basic consultation tariff (for most blocs of practice this is Tariff 8550). Telemedicine rules of application apply. Live telemedicine is always based on the same rate. Unlike subsequent visit rules there is no reduction in payment for subsequent services rendered within 60 days to the same patient with the same condition. If a live telemedicine service is interrupted for technical reasons both the initial and subsequent sessions (if provided within 60 days) should be submitted on a By Report basis. Following a telemedicine session, if it is necessary for the receiving physician to assess the patient in person for the same condition, a complete examination tariff may be claimed. In these circumstances however, the physician may NOT claim for a consultation.
Psychiatrists Tariff 8479 or Tariff 8478 may be claimed to those who provide individual psychotherapy (8479) or psychiatric (8478) care through live telemedicine. Psychotherapy or Psychiatric Care provided in this manner is not subject to and does not count toward the daily or weekly maximums that are applicable to Tariff 8581 Individual Psychotherapy or Tariff 8584 Psychiatric Care. Group psychotherapy cannot be claimed through telemedicine without prior approval from Manitoba Health.
Store and Forward – Store and Forward telemedicine is claimed under Tariff 8481 and paid at a rate equivalent to a bloc’s regional visit fee. Store and Forward images must be received and reviewed at an approved telemedicine site.
Radiologists – Radiologists who interpret diagnostic images through store and forward telemedicine may bill these services as if the Radiologist was interpreting hard film. No additional claim can be submitted if the Radiologist subsequently receives and interprets the hard film.
Assisting Physicians — When a physician is required to be present with the patient to assist with an essential physical/psychiatric assessment, the assisting physician may claim Tariff 8482. Tariff 8482 is payable per fifteen minutes or portion thereof, to a maximum of one hour.