Epstein Becker Green’s Telemental Health Laws Survey Cited in “OIG to Audit Use of Telehealth for Medicaid Behavioral Health Services”

Health Data Management

Epstein Becker Green’s 2018 Telemental Health Laws survey was cited in Health Data Management, in “OIG to Audit Use of Telehealth for Medicaid Behavioral Health Services,” by Greg Slabodkin.

Following is an excerpt:

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General plans to review how states are using telemedicine to provide behavioral health services in Medicaid managed care.

“All 50 states and the District of Columbia currently provide some coverage under Medicaid of telehealth; however, limited information is available about how states use telehealth to provide behavioral health services to Medicaid managed care enrollees,” OIG announced on Thursday in the agency’s updated work plan, which assesses relative risks in HHS programs and operations to identify those areas most in need of attention.

According to the agency, it will conduct an audit focusing on selected states that will analyze how they and managed care organizations (MCOs) leverage telehealth to provide behavioral healthcare.

“It will also review selected states’ monitoring and oversight of MCOs’ behavioral health services provided via telehealth,” OIG revealed. “Finally, it will identify states’ and MCOs’ practices on how to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of providing behavioral healthcare via telehealth.”

Results of a survey, released in December 2018 by law firm Epstein Becker Green, show that the current nationwide opioid epidemic has contributed to the increasing adoption of telehealth and telemental health services.

The law firm noted that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in June 2018 encouraged states to leverage telemedicine and telepsychiatry to support coordinated care for Medicaid recipients.