CCHP in the News

CCHP staff frequently contribute to articles on telehealth’s most pressing issues.

  • Report: All But Two States Have Some Medicaid Telemedicine Reimbursement

    MobiHealth News

    The Center for Connected Health Policy has released the fifth edition of its State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report. CCHP uncovered many notable findings in the new report. Perhaps chief among those: 48 states and Washington, D.C., provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service.  Specifically, 13 states reimburse for store-and-forward delivered services in Medicaid; states that only provide reimbursement for teleradiology were not counted in this number. Twenty-two states reimburse in Medicaid for remote patient monitoring. The report also found that 31 states provide a transmission and/or facility fee. Six states have geographic/rural restrictions. And 23 states limit Medicaid reimbursement to a specific list of facilities. “While many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services,” CCHP said in the report. “Although each state’s laws, regulations and Medicaid program policies differ significantly, certain trends are evident when examining the various policies.” 

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  • 48 States Provide Some Medicaid Reimbursement for Telehealth, says CCHP Report

    The Longevity Network

    This month, the Center for Connected Health Policy has released the fifth edition of its State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report. (An interactive map and search tool of the results is also available on their website). Chief among its findings: 48 states and Washington D.C. allow for some kind of Medicaid reimbursement for some form of live video fee-for-service. “While many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services,” CCHP said in the report. “Although each state’s laws, regulations and Medicaid program policies differ significantly, certain trends are evident when examining the various policies.”

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  • More States Reimburse for Telemedicine Under Medicaid Than You Think

    Healthcare IT News

    The Center for Connected Health Policy has released the fifth edition of its State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies Report. CCHP uncovered many notable findings in the new report. Perhaps chief among those: 48 states and Washington, D.C., provide reimbursement for some form of live video in Medicaid fee-for-service.  Specifically, 13 states reimburse for store-and-forward delivered services in Medicaid; states that only provide reimbursement for teleradiology were not counted in this number. Twenty two states reimburse in Medicaid for remote patient monitoring. The report also found that 31 states provide a transmission and/or facility fee. Six states have geographic/rural restrictions. And 23 states limit Medicaid reimbursement to a specific list of facilities. “While many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services,” CCHP said in the report. “Although each state’s laws, regulations and Medicaid program policies differ significantly, certain trends are evident when examining the various policies.” 

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  • Examining the State of Medicaid Telehealth Reimbursement

    mHealth Intelligence

    The majority of the United States offers Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth and related services, but reimbursement rules within each state can vary significantly, according to the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP).  CCHP's Fifth Annual 50 State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Report focused on Medicaid fee-for-service policies and policy language in each state as of March 2017. The report found that 48 states and the District of Columbia provide fee-for-service Medicaid reimbursement for some form of live video. Massachusetts and Rhode Island are the only two states without definitive reimbursement rules for their public insurance program.  “No two states are alike in how telehealth is defined and regulated,” CCHP said. “While there are some similarities in language, perhaps indicating states may have utilized existing verbiage from other states, noticeable differences exist.”  

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  • Report: Despite Progress, Telehealth Still Faces Disparate Medicaid Policies

    Fierce Healthcare

    Medicaid regulations in all but two states offer reimbursement for some form of telemedicine, but those policies vary widely from state to state, often limiting the services available to patients. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were the only two states with Medicaid reimbursement for live video telehealth visits, according to a report from the Center for Connected Health Policy. Among those that do have a policy, several have expanded regulations to allow for remote patient monitoring as well as store and forward, where patients can send digital images and data to a telemedicine provider.

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  • Telehealth Wave: Surf’s Up for Fed, State Policymakers

    Managed Care Magazine

    Telemedicine may be the wave of the future, but federal and state policymakers are surfing it in different ways. In Washington, the Republican plan to replace the ACA is dominating everything related to health care, including telehealth. Repeal and replace could be telemedicine’s big chance to assume a leading role in the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Statements from HHS Secretary Tom Price suggest he is favorable toward the technology. Meanwhile, in state capitals, health officials and regulators have been dealing with telehealth as an emerging technology for quite some time. Responses have varied, and the result is a hodgepodge of rules at the state level. But the uncertain future of insurance coverage in the country will affect both the perception and reality of telehealth in the years ahead. If millions of Americans lose Medicaid or private health insurance coverage because of the unACAing of American health care, telehealth may seem like a gimmicky sideshow rather than a good-faith effort to bring health care into the digital century.  

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  • Interview: Mario Gutierrez on the Future of Healthcare

    The Signal Center

    We sat down to talk about the future of healthcare with Mario Gutierrez, who serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP). Last year, Gutierrez participated in a panel with TSC Director Pamela Villacorta at the Governor’s Conference on Aging and Disabilities. We asked him about his perspective on the state of healthcare, his commitment to supporting rural populations, and his groundbreaking work with the CCHP.  About Mario Gutierrez:  Prior to becoming the Executive Director at CCHP, Gutierrez worked for over 30 years in California’s nonprofit health sectors. He previously served as the Program Director for the California Endowment, where he focused in especial on the deployment of a 5-year, $50 million telehealth initiative in the state of California. He sits on the board of directors for both the California State Rural Health Association and OCHIN, one of the nation’s largest and most successful health information networks. He also chairs the advisory panel for the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), housed within the University of Iowa College of Public Health, which provides federal policy analysis and recommendations for the promotion of livable rural communities across the country. 

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  • Interview with Mario Gutierrez, Part Two: "The practice of healthcare would be turned on its head"

    Healthcare Analytics News

    In the first half of HCA News’s conversation with Mario Gutierrez (pictured), the CCHP’s executive director, he spoke of the need for systemic changes in approach to advance telehealth. In this second part, Gutierrez goes on to talk about how telehealth policy is evolving nationwide, and what an ideal outcome would be for the CCHP’s mission.  In terms of telehealth policy, do you see some regions of the country pushing ahead and others lagging behind? It’s kind of like a dog race, some state will emerge and do something interesting and another state will do something that goes backwards. The problem is that, in order to really reform how telehealth is used in a particular state and particularly for their Medicaid patients, there has to be a couple of things. One is a real commitment to moving away from fee-for-service to a more value-based approach, working with payers to serve a population. Telehealth becomes very attractive when it’s not just another fee to bill. Secondly, we define the policy areas into several key budgets, and unless the state is willing to look at all of that rather than just piecemeal it, they’re not going to make much progress.

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  • Executive Director of the Center for Connected Health Policy: "It's about a culture change"

    Healthcare Analytics News

    As the landscape of health continues to evolve, with massive advances at the technological level but widespread uncertainty in health policy, it’s difficult to determine the role that new technologies can play, or will be allowed to play, down the road. The Center for Connected Care Health Policy, or CCHP, has worked for nearly a decade now to advocate for the use of telehealth as a means to streamline care, lower costs, and put patients at the center of the healthcare system. Initially begun to advocate for legal telehealth reform in the state of California, the CCHP has since become the leading, federally-designated national body for the movement. Mario Gutierrez, the Center’s executive director, kindly granted HCA News an interview (fittingly, conducted by telephone) this March to speak about the organization’s aims and the current state of telehealth policy across the country. 

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  • Telemedicine Could Be Great, if People Stopped Using It Like Uber

    Wired

    THESE DAYS, MORE people are working from home, shopping from home, and yes, even seeing the doctor from home. Last year more than a million people traded the waiting room for the comfort of their own couch—which sure beats thumbing through a sad collection of creased magazines. Today, telehealth is touted as one of the chief ways to deal with rural residents left behind by hospital consolidation, as well as the 20 million new patients the Affordable Care Act brought into the health care system. Its value hinges on the premise that patients will use telehealth options instead of going to the doctor or the urgent care clinic. But a new study released today shows that people are using phone-a-physician services in addition to in-person visits, not as a substitute. And the result of the Uber-ization of health care is an increase in overall costs. In April 2012, CalPERS Blue Shield started covering telehealth visits for their 300,000 insurance enrollees. 

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  • Where Teleneurology is Expanding, and Who is Paying For It

    Neurology Today

    Technology-enabled physician visits and other telemedicine applications have long been snubbed by payers and burdened by a patchwork of state regulations. But as the health care value movement takes hold, those who kept telemedicine on the sidelines are beginning to see its charms.Indeed, 29 states have passed laws requiring private insurers to pay for telemedicine-delivered services in the same way they pay for in-person care, and 48 states provide some Medicaid coverage. And even Medicare, which has never been friendly to telemedicine, may be changing its attitude.“I guess I'm the most optimistic I've ever been in terms of the alignment between the [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] leadership with the intent of Congress to do something about this,” said Mario Gutierrez, executive director of the Center for Connected Health Policy, a national nonprofit organization that develops and advances telemedicine policies and resources.

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  • The Future of Telemedicine: Two Perspectives

    Healh Management

    The Center for Connected Health Policy is an organisation that is vocal about policy reforms on integrating telehealth virtual technologies into the American health care system. Mei Wa Kwong, Policy Advisor and Project Director spoke to HealthManagement.org about the legal challenges of harmonising telehealth/medicine across borders.
    What, from the perspective of the Center for Connected Health Policy, have been the greatest challenges in 'harmonising' telehealth regulations across the U.S.? The way the US health care system is structured, you have multiple entities who pay for care. You have government programmes like Medicare on the federal level and Medicaid on the state level as well as private insurers who provide insurance through employers or private purchase. This creates layers of different policies in law, regulations and the insurers own individual policies. So already you have a complicated environment to navigate. Now multiple that 51 times (50 states and the District of Columbia) and you can see how daunting and complicated the policy environment is around telehealth. And what I’ve just described is only one aspect of policy. You also have other laws, regulations and policies that aren’t necessarily specific to telehealth but impact it such as licenses to practice medicine.

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  • Telemedicine Helps Link Children, Mental Health Specialists in ER Cases

    mHealth Intelligence

    Telemedicine access to mental health experts can significantly improve outcomes for pediatric cases in an ER or urgent care clinic, a new study has found. In a report presented at the recent American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco, Alison Brent, MD, medical director of Children’s Hospital Colorado, says more than half of the emergency pediatric mental health cases studied were discharged with a scheduled outpatient follow-up. And in almost all cases, both provider and patient said they were highly or extremely satisfied with the care they received. The report adds to the growing evidence base that telemedicine can not only improve patient care and outcomes in rural locations, but enable smaller hospitals and clinics to keep more of their patients and reduce costly transfers and unnecessary hospitalizations. Brent studied 504 cases of individuals aged 18 or younger admitted to one of five ED or urgent care locations with a mental health emergency. She notes that one in five children involved in an emergency care situation needs psychiatric services, yet many EDs and urgent care sites don’t have those specialists on staff. 

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  • Pennsylvania Joins Telehealth-Friendly Licensing Compact for Doctors

    mHealth Intelligence

    Pennsylvania has joined the group of states supporting the telehealth-friendly Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which goes into effect in just over two months. Gov. Tom Wolf’s signature last week on legislation unanimously approved by both the state House and Senate makes Pennsylvania the 18th state to sign onto the compact, which establishes a streamlined application process for physicians looking to practice in more than one state. “In the world of apps and telehealth, the interstate compact allows qualified, licensed physicians to follow this new technology across state lines,” Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, said in a statement issued after Wolf’s signature. “Equally important, as many rural areas of Pennsylvania face physician shortages, is the ability for doctors to move back and forth across state borders.” Wolf’s signature ends a year-long process by Republican State Rep. Jesse Topper to see his bill become a law.

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  • New Report Charts Slow Progress for Telehealth Reimbursement

    mHealth Intelligence

    Telehealth is slowly becoming an accepted means of delivering healthcare, according to the latest state-by-state analysis of the Center for Connected Health Policy. An update of the CCHP’s fourth annual report, issued in March, finds that three states have added store-and-forward telehealth to their Medicaid programs and three have added some form of remote patient monitoring since that time. Of special note, Hawaii has mandated, as of 2017, that liability insurers provide malpractice insurance for providers using telehealth at the same rate for in-person services. “This may inspire other states to introduce similar legislation in the future,” the report stated. The August edition of CCHP’s “State Telehealth laws and Medicaid Program Policies,” a 244-page update of the organization’s March report, notes that states are moving slowly, and in a piecemeal fashion, toward telehealth adoption and reimbursement. In all, it said, 44 states have introduced more than 150 telehealth-related pieces of legislation this year. The CCHP, one of 14 federal telehealth resource centers scattered across the country, notes that while some states are moving forward, others are enacting laws “to restrict or place limitations on telehealth delivered services.”

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