Over thirty states now offering reimbursement for audio only digital health services

by | Oct 20, 2022

A report has emerged from the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), detailing Medicaid compensation in many states across the United States. Earlier this year, several key telehealth regulations have been amended. Five states have added Medicaid funding for audio-only services, which brings the number of states to engage in funding to thirty-five, over two thirds of all states. various federal and state policy adjustments. State telehealth laws and Medicaid program regulations are examined by CCHP multiple times a year to keep pace of these developments. At both federal and state levels, there have recently been various policy changes as a result of the increase in demand for telehealth services brought on by the COVID-19 epidemic. State telehealth laws and Medicaid program regulations are examined on multiple occasions annually by CHP to maintain the pace of these developments. In Spring this year, CHP discovered several significant adjustments taken from the fall report. All information in the paper was gathered by looking through state statutes, administrative regulations, and Medicaid provider manuals between July and September. It is noted in the report that varied telehealth policies remain across states. This is seen through the standards for services where different states have certain Medicaid telehealth policies. Any form of Medicaid service can be provided through telehealth in some states however, in other states, a more rigid stance is taken and only let specific services to be provided digitally. Included in the CCHP study is information on Medicaid reimbursement procedures, many of which were modified as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the organization, speech-language pathology is covered by the Medicaid program in Washington under Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). This state previously paid for live video telehealth; however, it is new to fund this specific service.

The report also revealed that Medicaid programs in 34 states and the District of Columbia elect to reimburse for audio-only telehealth services. While all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reimburse Medicaid fee-for-service for some type of live video, just 25 states and 24 countries do the same for store-and-forward telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Adding to this, just 17 state Medicaid programs offer reimbursement for all four modalities: live video, store-and-forward, remote patient monitoring, and audio-only. The survey noted that Medicaid telehealth policy changes were more frequent than those in regulations governing commercial payers At present, 43 states, along with The Virgin Islands and D.C. all have private payer laws that govern telemedicine reimbursement.

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