– Federal officials have unveiled a new toolkit to help states expand telehealth coverage under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
Developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the 25-page toolkit addresses issues that include identifying patient populations for telehealth, provider eligibility, coverage and reimbursement policies, technical requirements and pediatric considerations.
(For more coronavirus updates, visit our resource page, updated twice daily by Xtelligent Healthcare Media.)
“Although telehealth services have been available in many states for decades, the recent public health emergency (PHE) resulting from COVID-19 has accelerated the interest in service delivery through telehealth,” the toolkit explains. “The purpose of this document is to identify for states the policy topics that should be addressed in order to facilitate widespread adoption of telehealth services, especially when they reside outside the immediate authority of a Medicaid or CHIP program.”
“While not all patient interactions can be delivered through telehealth, our clinicians on the frontlines need every tool in their arsenal to fight this invisible enemy,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a press release. “I’m urging states to use this toolkit to make sure our Medicaid patients, particularly our children, can continue to receive needed care from the safety of their homes.”
The toolkit is the latest in a series of resources and emergency orders released by federal officials to expand telehealth and mHealth adoption during the COVID-19 emergency.
In addition, many states have enacted their own emergency regulations around connected health, focusing primarily on license portability and Medicaid coverage. Among the organizations keeping track of each state’s actions are the Center for Connected Health Policy and the Federation of State Medical Boards.