Spring 2020 update from the National Center for Connected Health Policy
CCHP’s comprehensive assessment and compendium of state Medicaid telehealth policies and laws covers all fifty states and the District of Columbia.
CCHP’s semi-annual State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies report offers the nation’s most current summary guide of Medicaid provider manuals, applicable state laws, and telehealth-related regulations for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This report serves as a vital resource for policymakers, health care professionals, and health advocates on how each state defines, governs, and regulates technology-enabled health care, noting policy trends across key topic areas.
FIFTY STATES, FIFTY APPROACHES
Remarkably, no two states are alike in how telehealth is treated despite some similarities in the language used. For example, some states have incorporated telehealth-related policies into law, while other states address issues in their Medicaid program guidelines. In some cases, CCHP discovered policy inconsistencies within a single state. This variability creates a confusing environment for those who use (or intend to use) telehealth, especially health systems that provide health care services in several states.
CCHP’s most recent fifty-state survey of state telehealth laws and Medicaid program policies was completed in Spring 2020. The full PDF report is available, as is an interactive map of existing and pending telehealth-related policies by state.
*Please note that since the research was conducted for this Spring report in February 2020, the COVID-19 emergency has imposed many temporary waivers, exceptions and changes to telehealth policy across the nation. Those changes, while significant, in most cases do not reflect a permanent shift in a state’s telehealth policy, and are only in effect through the duration of the emergency. Therefore, those COVID-19 specific policy changes are not reflected in this report.
Below are some key findings:
- 50 states and Washington, DC provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service.
- 16 states provide reimbursement for store-and-forward. Four additional jurisdictions (HI, MS, NH, and NJ) have laws requiring Medicaid reimburse for store-and-forward but as of the time this research was conducted, had yet to have any official Medicaid policy indicating this is occurring.
- 23 state Medicaid programs provide reimbursement for remote patient monitoring (RPM). As is the case for store-and-forward, two Medicaid programs (HI and NJ) have laws requiring Medicaid to reimburse for RPM but at the time the research was conducted, did not have any official Medicaid policy.
- 19 states limit the type of facility that can serve as an originating site.
- 34 state Medicaid programs offer a transmission or facility fee when telehealth is used.
- 42 states and DC currently have a law that governs private payer telehealth reimbursement policy.
CONSTANTLY UPDATING POLICIES
Due to the dynamic nature of state telehealth policy, CCHP offers an interactive policy map with the most recent telehealth-related policy information. The information within the map and the PDF report is updated twice annually.
A HISTORICAL LOOK
In January 2020, CCHP released a historical Analysis of State Medicaid fee-for-service telehealth trends. The report, titled State Telehealth Medicaid Fee-For-Service Policy—A Historical Analysis of Telehealth: 2013-2019, utilizes data gathered from the past seven years (14 editions) of CCHP’s State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies report and is intended to identify changes, and progress in specific areas, and to provide context to the current telehealth policy landscape. Each of CCHP’s previous reports were evaluated to note changes made by Medicaid programs, such as changes to provider manuals, departmental bulletins, provider letters, or other government transmittals. The key subject areas examined in the report include definitions; reimbursement for live video, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring; consent issues; geographic restrictions; and facility originating sites. To learn more about the significant findings and trends recognized read the full report.