Tool: Telehealth Policy Finder
Across the country, no two states are alike in how they define and regulate telehealth. To help policymakers, health advocates and other health care professionals understand the policies and trends throughout the nation, the Telehealth Policy Finder tool compiles telehealth-related laws and regulations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as at the federal level.Explore the Policy Finder tool
Fall 2022 Updates
The Fall 2022 summary report adds in two new jurisdictions, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, and covers updates in state telehealth policy made between July and early September 2022. Note that in some cases, after a state was reviewed by CCHP, it is possible that the state may have passed a significant piece of legislation or implemented an administrative policy change that CCHP may not have captured. In those instances, the changes will be reviewed and catalogued in the upcoming Spring 2023 edition of CCHP’s Summary Report.
As in previous editions, information in the policy finder remains organized into three categories: Medicaid reimbursement, private payer laws and professional requirements. Additionally, for this edition, CCHP received support from the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) through funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a specific category on federally qualified health center (FQHC) Medicaid fee-for-service policies. FQHCs have many unique rules that apply to them that sometimes effect their ability to utilize telehealth, such as the definition of a visit/encounter in the Medicaid program. The new FQHC category takes these considerations into account and will help FQHCs be able to more easily navigate to the policies that specifically affect them. CCHP has a factsheet available summarizing the findings from their new FQHC section. Learn more in the Fall 2022 FQHC Factsheet.
Please note that many states and jurisdictions continue to keep their temporary telehealth COVID-19 emergency policies siloed from their permanent telehealth policies. These temporary policies are not included in this summary report, although they are listed under each state in CCHP’s online Policy Finder under the COVID-19 category. In instances where the state has made policies permanent, or extended policies for multiple years, CCHP has incorporated those policies into this report.
Significant changes that occurred include:
- New York requiring payment parity for commercial and Medicaid services via telehealth, although this will expire in April 2024.
- Connecticut also extended their private payer telehealth reimbursement law until June 2024 (previously it was set to expire in June 2023).
- Louisiana enacted a payment parity mandate for telehealth services for physical therapy services only.
More states than ever before have adopted cross state licensure exceptions, registrations or licenses specific to telehealth since CCHP’s Spring 2022 report edition, with ten states adding such policies. Most of these policies are not broad allowances to practice within the state if providers hold licenses in other states, but rather targeted exceptions for specific cases. For example, Illinois now has a licensing exception for social work with very specific criteria to qualify. For states that have enacted broader registrations in recent years for out-of-state providers, such as Florida, most entail an application process similar to full licensure and require a fee payment. Licensing Compacts also continue to be on the rise with seven out of nine compacts that CCHP tracks increasing membership since Spring 2022, and the Counseling Compact seeing the fastest growth, expanding to seventeen members (previously ten).
- Fifty states and Washington DC provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service. Both the jurisdictions of Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands do not explicitly indicate they reimburse for live video in their permanent Medicaid policies, as mentioned above.
- Twenty-five state Medicaid programs reimburse for store-and-forward. However, two states (North Carolina and Ohio) solely reimburse store-and-forward as a part of Communications Technology Based Services (CTBS), which is limited to specific codes and reimbursement amounts.
- Thirty-four state Medicaid programs provide reimbursement for remote patient monitoring (RPM). Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and West Virginia are the states to add RPM since Spring 2022.
- Thirty-four states and DC Medicaid programs reimburse for audio-only telephone in some capacity; however, often with limitations. Audio-only was the modality that again (similar to the Spring 2022 edition) had the largest increase in states reimbursing for it, increasing by five since Spring 2022.
Getting started with the Policy Finder
Launched in Spring 2021 by PHI’s Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), the Policy Finder tool is a searchable, easy-to-use database that is updated consistently throughout the year. Formerly known as the State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Report, the information from the online database can be exported for each state into a PDF document using the most current information available on CCHP’s website.
Use the Policy Finder tool to:
- Look up telehealth-related laws and regulations by topic, including COVID-19, Medicaid & Medicare, Private Payer and Professional Requirements
- Explore all current laws, temporary COVID-19 actions, and pending legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as at the federal level
- Compare the policy of any of the topic areas for any two states
- View color-coded maps recapping policy trends by state across topic areas, including Medicaid reimbursement for live video, store and forward and remote patient monitoring
The Policy Finder is designed to provide timely policy information that is easy for users to navigate and understand. Watch a quick tutorial to explore the tool, see how to use it and learn about its features:
Please note: this information should not be construed as legal counsel. Consult with an attorney if you are seeking a legal opinion.
Originally published by Center for Connected Health Policy