June 25, 2021
Linked here is the emergency regulation DoH issued today regarding the (Medicaid) Telehealth Program in the aftermath of the State of Emergency being cancelled. The Emergency Regulation, which becomes effective upon filing with the Secretary of State (presumably today, 6/25), would maintain the status quo for Medicaid coverage of and reimbursement for telehealth and this includes the telephonic/audio only modality, throughout the federal declared public health emergency. The justification for the Emergency Reg includes acknowledgment by DoH that continued continuity of care via telehealth is especially important for behavioral health, oral health, maternity, care management, emergency department care and care for high need populations.
We like the section under ‘Need and Benefits’ that states DoH intends to make many of the telehealth flexibilities permanent after the emergency has ended through DOH regulations:
‘As many of these flexibilities are intended to be made permanent after the public health emergency through enactment of regulations by the Department, and given that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has authorized continued use of telehealth through modalities that align with Article 29-G of the Public Health Law, the Department is issuing these emergency regulations in order to ensure ongoing and continuous access to telehealth services for Medicaid members. This continuous access is particularly important for members of the Medicaid population who are unable to access services in person, or who continue to be at risk for COVID-19, because they are ineligible for the vaccine, including children under age 12 and individuals for whom the vaccine is currently medically contraindicated.’
I suggest you give it a read. It’s a bit vague but it also does not appear to do any harm to our current position as described by OMH and OASAS earlier today.