Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Holman1 described
the current shortsightedness of medical education in addressing chronic illness
very well but did not address the lack of routine reimbursement, particularly
from Medicare, for the activities that are essential to manage chronic disease.
For example, physicians ideally should manage patients with chronic disease
in part by telephone and e-mail. However, for my own practice, where we have
more than 3 years’ experience with a very active patient e-mail communication
system, there is no Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code for electronic physician-patient communication.
Even though these codes may develop, I am pessimistic about whether these
services will be reimbursed given that Medicare does not currently reimburse
for telephone calls despite the existing CPT codes
Morioka-Douglas N. Medical Education and Chronic Disease. JAMA. 2004;292(24):2974-2976. doi:10.1001/jama.292.24.2975-b