New Medicaid Telehealth Q&As, Plus Updated Guidance on Personnel and COVID-19 Exposure

The state Department of Health has issued two new COVID-19 guidance documents. One of these (dated March 31) replaces a prior guidance on protocols for personnel returning to work following COVID-19 exposure and infection (see here). The other is a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document on new Medicaid service and billing allowances through telehealth and telephonic means during the COVID-19 emergency (see here).

As reported yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced telehealth policies for Medicare (as distinct from the state’s actions on Medicaid) which are extremely limited. For Medicare home health, CMS is allowing agencies to provide visits through telehealth but the visits must be ordered by the physician and on the plan of care, and agencies may not receive reimbursement for telehealth visits under Medicare.¬†HCA is examining next steps to redouble our advocacy in this area, including with Congress and CMS.

The state’s new FAQs for Medicaid offer information on telehealth billing, who can provide telehealth services, and other items related to the new temporary emergency allowances applicable to Medicaid services.

Of note are the following items, with question numbers referenced as follows: documentation (16); consent (17-18); new patients versus established patients (22); assessments (23); applicability of the nurse family partnership program (61); home and community based assessments and face-to-face requirements (75); home and community based services for children (79-80); applicability for Licensed Home Care Services Agencies that provide services to Medicaid-eligible recipients through Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) plans or Medicaid managed care plans (86); requirements for managed care plans and MLTCs to reimburse contracted home care agencies (87); applicability of telehealth to aide supervision and orientation (88); and whether home care visits by RNs, PTs, MSWs, OTs, Speech Therapists and others can be provided by telemedicine/telephonic means (89).

Organizations seeking to utilize the new emergency allowance should read the FAQs in full.

For a list of all recent regulatory waivers or flexibilities, please see our COVID-19 resource page.

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