Epstein Becker Green’s Telemental Health Laws Survey Featured in “Medicaid Programs in 49 States & D.C. Reimburse for Telemental Health”

Open Minds

Epstein Becker Green’s 2018 Telemental Health Laws survey, and corresponding app, was featured in Open Minds, in “Medicaid Programs in 49 States & D.C. Reimburse for Telemental Health.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Across the United States, Medicaid fee-for-service programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia provide coverage and reimbursement for some type of live video telemental health service. Only Massachusetts Medicaid does not presently reimburse for any mental health services delivered via telehealth technologies.

In 39 states and the District of Columbia, telehealth parity laws are on the books that require payers to cover telemental health services in some respect similar to the same way that in-person services are covered. However, the laws differ greatly. In some of the states, the laws apply to all payers including Medicaid; but in other states, only to commercial payers. Parity laws further vary in that some specify the types of services that can be provided via telehealth, and others call for equal reimbursement for telehealth services. For example, in some states, the parity laws simply state that telehealth services must medically necessary in order to qualify for coverage. In other states, the provisions state that payers should not exclude services provided via telehealth.

These findings are presented in the “Telemental Health Laws” survey report application, prepared by attorneys with national law firm Epstein Becker Green (EBG). EBG researched, analyzed, and compiled state-specific content relating to the regulatory requirements for professional mental/behavioral health professionals and stakeholders seeking to provide telehealth-focused services. The 2018 data is an update to EBG’s original 50-State Survey of Telemental/Telebehavioral Health (“2016 Survey”) and an appendix issued in 2017. …

The report authors concluded that overall interest in, and acceptance of, telehealth services in the U.S. continues to increase. The key drivers for expanded telehealth are bipartisan support, greater advocacy from Medicare and Medicaid, and the opioid epidemic.