WHA Members Consider Ways to Improve Telehealth Access Under Medicaid

Telemedicine Work Group continues to help WHA develop its advocacy agenda

July 03, 2018

As WHA continues to develop and refine its telehealth advocacy agenda, the WHA Telemedicine Work Group met last week to provide input to WHA on strategies for expanding Medicaid enrollee access to high-value health care delivered through telehealth.

At a previous Work Group meeting, WHA and the Work Group had identified Medicaid regulatory and reimbursement barriers that prevent hospitals and health systems from maximizing use of telehealth. At last week’s meeting, the Work Group discussed strategies for addressing such barriers and improving Medicaid access to telehealth-delivered health care. Among such Medicaid strategies discussed by the Work Group are the following:
  • Adding Medicare covered telehealth services to the list of telehealth services covered under Medicaid.
  • Permitting payment for targeted telehealth services when such services are delivered in the patient’s home. According to the Work Group, enabling payment for telehealth to the home can increase care plan adherence, avoid more expensive emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and remove transportation-based barriers to health care access.
  • Removing distinctions between how Medicaid covers and pays for telehealth services compared to how Medicaid covers and pays for analogous in-person services.
WHA’s Telemedicine Work Group will continue to meet throughout 2018 to assist WHA in developing its telehealth advocacy agenda, which is broadly aimed at expanding access to telehealth services by facilitating sustainable telehealth reimbursement within Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance and by removing regulatory barriers that unnecessarily impede the delivery of health care services via telehealth.

For more information, call 608-274-1820.

This story originally appeared in the July 03, 2018 edition of WHA Newsletter