Alaska

CURRENT STATE LAWS & POLICY

AT A GLANCE

Medicaid Program

Alaska Medicaid

Administrator

Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance

Regional Telehealth Resource Center

Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center

Medicaid Reimbursement

Live Video: Yes
Store-and-Forward: Yes
Remote Patient Monitoring: Yes

Private Payer Law

Law Exists: Yes
Payment Parity: No

Professional Requirements

Licensure Compacts: None
Consent Requirements: Yes

Last updated 07/28/2021

Audio Only Delivery

STATUS: Active

STATUS: Active

Alaska Remittance Advice Message: Telehealth Audio Only Delivery Covered for FQHC Behavioral Health 

STATUS: Expired Oct. 1, 2020

Division of Behavioral Health:  Telemedicine Emergency Response Policy Guidance

STATUS: Active, until providers notified

Medicaid: Outpatient Dialysis/End-Stage Renal Disease, Direct Entry Midwife, and Vision Services Providers – Medicaid Telehealth Flexibilities Expire Effective November 1, 2021

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: In response to state emergency declaration expiring 2/14 – DHSS will continue to operate its COVID-19 response under the same guidance and direction that had previously been provided, which includes all prior waived or suspended statutes and regulations.

STATUS: Active

Medicaid 1915(c) Waiver: Appendix K Waivers and Specific Programs

STATUS: Expired March 10, 2021

COVID-19 Health Mandate

STATUS: Active, until rescinded

Medicaid: PHE Declaration

STATUS: Active, until rescinded or federal PHE expires

Last updated 07/28/2021

Cross State Licensing

STATUS: Active

Business and Professional Licensing: Telehealth and Licensing

STATUS: Active, until national PHE ends

Last updated 07/28/2021

Easing Prescribing Requirements

STATUS: Active

Business and Professional Licensing: Telehealth and Licensing During COVID-19

STATUS: Active, until national PHE ends

Professional Regulation: State Emergency Regulations made permanent

STATUS: Permanent

SB 241: In-Person Exam Requirement

STATUS: Enacted

State Medical Board: Emergency regulation allows the use of telemedicine to provide medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders

STATUS: Active, expires October 7, 2021 unless made permanent

State Nursing Board: Emergency regulation allows the use of telemedicine to provide medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders

STATUS: Active, expires September 7, 2021 unless made permanent

Last updated 07/28/2021

Miscellaneous

Board of Dental Examiners: Teledentistry Statement

STATUS: Active

Department of Commerce: Letter regarding Direct Entry Midwives

STATUS: Active

HB 76: Extends some emergency powers and flexibilities

STATUS: Enacted

Last updated 07/28/2021

Originating Site

Medicaid: Telehealth Coverage COVID-19 FAQs

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: Temporary Expansion of Medicaid Telehealth Services

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: In response to state emergency declaration expiring 2/14 – DHSS will continue to operate its COVID-19 response under the same guidance and direction that had previously been provided, which includes all prior waived or suspended statutes and regulations.

STATUS: Active until further instructed by the Governor or Alaska Legislature

Alaska Remittance Advice Message: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage

STATUS: Active, throughout the duration of the PHE

Last updated 07/28/2021

Private Payer

Alaska Remittance Advice Message: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage

STATUS: Active, throughout the duration of the PHE

Department of Insurance: Telehealth Coverage

STATUS: Permanent

Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development: Coverage of Telehealth

STATUS: Active

Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development:  Telehealth Delivery of Services

STATUS: Expired

Last updated 07/28/2021

Provider Type

STATUS: Active

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: Telehealth Modifier Use for School District and Targeted Case Management Provider

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: Outpatient Dialysis/End-Stage Renal Disease, Direct Entry Midwife, and Vision Services Providers – Medicaid Telehealth Flexibilities Expire Effective November 1, 2021

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: In response to state emergency declaration expiring 2/14 – DHSS will continue to operate its COVID-19 response under the same guidance and direction that had previously been provided, which includes all prior waived or suspended statutes and regulations.

STATUS: Active until further instructed by the Governor or Alaska Legislature

COVID-19 Health Mandate

STATUS: Active, until rescinded

Medicaid: PHE Declaration

STATUS: Active, until rescinded or federal PHE expires

Alaska Remittance Advice Message: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage

STATUS: Active, throughout the duration of the PHE

Last updated 07/28/2021

Service Expansion

Medicaid: Telehealth Fee Schedule

STATUS: Active, until national PHE ends

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: Policy Clarification Telehealth Coverage

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: Office Consultations via Telemedicine

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: Temporary Expansion of Medicaid Telehealth Services

STATUS: Active

Alaska Remittance Advice Message: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage

STATUS: Active

Division of Behavioral Health:  Telemedicine Emergency Response Policy Guidance

STATUS: Active, until providers notified

Medicaid: Temporary Coverage of Telehealth for Vision Services

STATUS: Active until November 1, 2021

Medicaid: Outpatient Dialysis/End-Stage Renal Disease, Direct Entry Midwife, and Vision Services Providers – Medicaid Telehealth Flexibilities Expire Effective November 1, 2021

STATUS: Active

Medicaid: In response to state emergency declaration expiring 2/14 – DHSS will continue to operate its COVID-19 response under the same guidance and direction that had previously been provided, which includes all prior waived or suspended statutes and regulations.

STATUS: Active until further instructed by the Governor or Alaska Legislature

COVID-19 Health Mandate

STATUS: Active, until rescinded

Medicaid: PHE Declaration

STATUS: Active, until rescinded or federal PHE expires

Last updated 07/29/2021

Definitions

“Alaska Medicaid will pay for telemedicine services delivered in the following manner:

  • Interactive method: Provider and patient interact in ‘real-time’ using video/camera and/or dedicated audio conference equipment.
  • Store-and-forward method: The provider sends digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video to a consulting provider at a different location. The consulting provider reviews the information and reports back his or her analysis.
  • Self-monitoring method: The patient is monitored in his or her home via a telemedicine application, with the provider indirectly involved from another location.”

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); Physician Services (5/13) (Accessed July 2021).

The department will pay a provider for a telemedicine application if the provider provided the medical services through one of the following methods of delivery in the specified manner:

  • Live or interactive: the service must be provided through the use of camera, video, or dedicated audio conference equipment on a real-time basis; medical services provided by a telephone that is not a part of a dedicated audio conference system or by a facsimile machine are not eligible for payment under this paragraph
  • Store-and-forward: the service must be provided through the transference of digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video from one location to another to allow a consulting provider to obtain information, analyze it, and report back to the referring provider
  • Self-monitoring or testing: the services must be provided by a telemedicine application based in the recipient’s home, with the provider only indirectly involved in the provision of the service.

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.625 & Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).

“Telemedicine means the practice of health care delivery, evaluation, diagnosis, consultation, or treatment, using the transfer of medical data through audio, video, or data communications that are performed over two or more locations between providers who are physically separated from the recipient or from each other.”

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 12.449 & Sec. 110.639 & Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Email, Phone & Fax

No reimbursement for telephone when not part of a dedicated audio conference system.

No reimbursement for FAX.

The department will pay only for professional services for a telemedicine application of service. The department will not pay for the use of technological equipment and systems associated with a telemedicine application to render the service.

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); Physician Services (5/13), & AK Admin Code, Title 7, 110.625 & 635 (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Live Video

POLICY

Alaska’s Medicaid program will reimburse for services “provided through the use of camera, video, or dedicated audio conference equipment on a real-time basis.”

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.625(a)(1). (Accessed July 2021).

Alaska Medicaid will pay for a covered medical service furnished through telemedicine application if the service is:

  • Covered under traditional, non-telemedicine methods;
  • Provided by a treating, consulting, presenting or referring provider;
  • Appropriate for provision via telemedicine

Source: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs, Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); Physician Services (5/13). (Accessed July 2021).

The department will pay for telemedicine applications provided by a treating, consulting, presenting, or referring provider for a medical service covered by Medicaid and provided within the scope of the provider’s license. A presenting provider is only eligible to receive Medicaid payment for a live or interactive telemedicine application.

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.630. (Accessed July 2021).

The department will pay for medical services furnished through telemedicine applications as an alternative to traditional methods of delivering services to Medicaid recipients. For the provider to receive payment, the provider’s use of telemedicine applications must comply with the standards for services delivered under the Medicaid program and for the medical services provided by the type of provider, including provisions that affect the efficiency, economy and quality of service; and coverage limitations.

SOURCE:  Alaska Admin Code. Title 7, Sec. 110.620. (Accessed July 2021).


ELIGIBLE SERVICES/SPECIALTIES

Medically necessary office consultations provided via telemedicine may be covered only when used as a second opinion and the provider is of a different specialty than the requesting provider.  Documentation requirements apply.

SOURCE: Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Office Consultations via Telemedicine Applications.  March 30, 2017. (Accessed July 2021)Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification; Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021)

Eligible services:

  • Initial or one follow-up office visit;
  • Consultation made to confirm diagnosis;
  • A diagnostic, therapeutic or interpretive service;
  • Psychiatric or substance abuse assessments;
  • Psychotherapy; or
  • Pharmacological management services on an individual recipient basis.

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); & Physician Services (5/13) & Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).

Family psychotherapy may be provided through telemedicine, with or without recipient involvement, if the services could not be provided in person and the clinician documents the reason for providing the service telephonically in the recipient’s treatment notes for each session.

SOURCE: AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs. Billing for Telemedicine Services. Community Behavioral Health Clinic Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/19). (Accessed July 2021).

The GT or 95 modifier should be used to indicate live interactive mode.  Use place of service code 02.

SOURCE: Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).

Dental services do not require the use of the telemedicine modifier.

SOURCE: AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs.  Dental Services.  Tribal Services Manual (1/3/17).  (Accessed July 2021).

No reimbursement for:

  • Direct entry midwife
  • Durable medical equipment (DME)
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Home and community-based waiver
  • Personal care assistant
  • Pharmacy
  • Private duty nursing
  • Transportation and accommodation
  • Vision (includes visual care, dispensing, or optician services)

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); Physician Services (5/13), & AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.635 & Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).


ELIGIBLE PROVIDERS

Providers fall into three categories:

  1. Referring Provider: Evaluates a patient, determines the need for a consultation, and arranges services of a consulting provider for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment.
  2. Presenting Provider: Introduces a patient to the consulting provider during an interactive telemedicine session (may assist in the telemedicine consultation).
  3. Consulting Provider: Evaluates the patient and/or medical data/images using telemedicine mode of delivery upon recommendation of the referring provider.

SOURCE: AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs. Billing for Telemedicine Services. Audiology  Services (6/12); Autism Services (6/12); Chiropractic Services (6/12)Community Behavioral Health Clinic Services (6/12); Direct-Entry Midwives Services (6/12); EPSDT (6/12); Family Planning (6/12); FQHC/RHC (6/12); Imaging Services (6/12); Independent Laboratory (6/12); Mental Health Physician Clinic (6/12); Nutrition (6/12); Physician (6/12); Private Duty Nursing (6/12); Psychologist (6/12); Podiatry (6/12); School-Based Services (6/12); Residential Behavioral Rehabilitation Services (6/12); Therapies (6/12); Vision (6/12) & Alaska Admin Code Title 7, Sec. 110.639. (Accessed July 2021).

Office consultations performed by a provider of the same specialty within the same organization are not covered.

SOURCE: Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Office Consultations via Telemedicine Applications.  March 30, 2017. (Accessed July 2021).


ELIGIBLE SITES

No reference found.


GEOGRAPHIC LIMITS

No reference found.


FACILITY TRANSMISSION FEE

The department will pay only for professional services for a telemedicine application of service. The department will not pay for the use of technological equipment and systems associated with a telemedicine application to render the service.

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.635(b). (Accessed July 2021)

Last updated 07/29/2021

Miscellaneous

Documentation requirements for telemedicine consultations include:

  • Statement that the service was provided using telemedicine
  • The address location of the patient
  • The address location of the provider
  • The method of telemedicine used
  • The names of all persons participating in the telemedicine service and their role in the encounter
  • The inquiry from the requesting provider
  • The consulting provider’s report back to the requesting provider (see policy for more details).

SOURCE: Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Office Consultations via Telemedicine Applications.  March 30, 2017. (Accessed July 2021)

Payment to the presenting provider is limited to the rate established for brief evaluation and management of an established patient.

Receiving providers will be reimbursed in the same manner as reimbursement is made for the same service provided through traditional modes of delivery, not to exceed 100 percent of the rate established in state law.

SOURCE: AK Admin Code, Title 7, 145.270. (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Out of State Providers

No Reference Found

Last updated 07/28/2021

Overview

Alaska reimburses for Live Video, Store & Forward & Remote Patient Monitoring, although some restrictions apply.

Last updated 07/29/2021

Remote Patient Monitoring

POLICY

Alaska Medicaid will reimburse for services delivered through self-monitoring, where the patient is monitored in their home via a telemedicine application, with the provider indirectly involved from another location.

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); Physician Services (5/13) & Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).

To be eligible for payment under self-monitoring or testing, “the services must be provided by a telemedicine application based in the recipient’s home, with the provider only indirectly involved in the provision of the service.”

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.625(a). (Accessed July 2021).


CONDITIONS

No Reference Found


PROVIDER LIMITATIONS

No Reference Found


OTHER RESTRICTIONS

No Reference Found

Last updated 07/29/2021

Store and Forward

POLICY

Alaska Medicaid will reimburse for Store & Forward telehealth, which is defined as the “provider sends digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video to a consulting provider at a different location.  The consulting provider reviews the information and reports back his or her analysis.

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services (1/2/19); Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); Physician Services (5/13), (Accessed July 2021).

The department will pay for medical services furnished through telemedicine applications as an alternative to traditional methods of delivering services to Medicaid recipients. For the provider to receive payment, the provider’s use of telemedicine applications must comply with the standards for services delivered under the Medicaid program and for the medical services provided by the type of provider, including provisions that affect the efficiency, economy and quality of service; and coverage limitations.  Store-and-forward services must be provided through the transference of digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video from one location to another to allow a consulting provider to obtain information, analyze it, and report back to the referring provider.

SOURCE:  Alaska Admin Code. Title 7, Sec. 110.620 & 625. (Accessed July 2021).


ELIGIBLE SERVICES/SPECIALTIES

A consulting provider may send data he/she has received during a store-and-forward telemedicine consultation to another consulting provider (with equal or greater scope of practice as determined by his/her occupational license or level of expertise within their field of specialty).

SOURCE: AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs. Billing for Telemedicine Services. Audiology Services (6/12); Autism Services (6/12); Chiropractic Services (6/12); Community Behavioral Health Clinic Services (6/12); Direct-Entry Midwives Services (6/12); EPSDT (6/12); Family Planning (6/12); FQHC/RHC (6/12); Imaging Services (6/12); Independent Laboratory (6/12); Mental Health Physician Clinic (6/12); Nutrition (6/12); Physician (6/12); Private Duty Nursing (6/12); Psychologist (6/12); Podiatry (6/12); School-Based Services (6/12); Residential Behavioral Rehabilitation Services (6/12); Therapies (6/12); Vision (6/12) (Accessed July 2021).

Eligible services:

  • Initial or one follow-up office visit;
  • Consultation made to confirm diagnosis;
  • A diagnostic, therapeutic or interpretive service;
  • Psychiatric or substance abuse assessments;
  • Psychotherapy; or
  • Pharmacological management services on an individual recipient basis.

SOURCE: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services; Mental Health Physician Clinic (1/2/2019); & Physician Services (5/13) & Alaska Medicaid Policy Clarification: Medicaid Telehealth Coverage. May 8, 2020. (Accessed July 2021).


GEOGRAPHIC LIMITS

No Reference Found


TRANSMISSION FEE

The department will pay only for professional services for a telemedicine application of service. The department will not pay for the use of technological equipment and systems associated with a telemedicine application to render the service.

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.635(b). (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Definitions

No Reference Found

Last updated 07/29/2021

Parity

SERVICE PARITY

Recently Amended through Legislation (Now Effective)

Health care insurers shall provide coverage for benefits provided through telehealth by a health care provider and may not require that prior in-person contact between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services.

SOURCE: AK Statute, Sec. 21.42.422 (HB 29 – 2020 Session). (Accessed July 2021).


PAYMENT PARITY

No Reference Found

Last updated 07/29/2021

Requirements

Recently Amended through Legislation (Now Effective)

A health care insurer that offers, issues for delivery, or renews in the state a health care insurance plan in the group or individual market shall provide coverage for benefits provided through telehealth by a health care provider licensed in this state and may not require that prior in-person contact between a health care provider and a patient before payment is made for covered services.

SOURCE: AK Statute, Sec. 21.42.422 (HB 29 – 2020 Session). (Accessed July 2021)

Last updated 07/29/2021

Cross State Licensing

No Reference Found

Last updated 07/29/2021

Definitions

Speech-Language Pathology

Telemedicine services means the delivery of health care services using the transfer of medical data through audio, visual, or data communications that are performed over two or more locations by a provider who is physically separated from the recipient of the health care services.

SOURCE: AK Statute, Sec. 44.33.381(c) & AK Admin. Code, Title 12, Sec. 07.090(4). (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Licensure Compacts

No Reference Found

Last updated 07/29/2021

Miscellaneous

The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development has adopted regulations for establishing and maintaining a registry of businesses performing telemedicine in the state.

See business registry regulations for more details.

SOURCE: AK Admin Code. Sec. 600 (Accessed July 2021) & AK Dept. of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, Occupational Licensing Centralized Regulations, Article 5. June 2021. (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Online Prescribing

The guiding principles for telemedicine practice in the American Medical Association (AMA), Report 7 of the Council on Medical Service (A-14), Coverage of and Payment for Telemedicine, dated 2014, and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), Model Policy for the Appropriate Use of Telemedicine Technologies in the Practice of Medicine, dated April 2014, are adopted by reference as the standards of practice when providing treatment, rendering a diagnosis, prescribing, dispensing, or administering a prescription or controlled substance without first conducting an in-person physical examination.

During a disaster emergency declared by the Governor, an appropriate licensed health care provider need not be present with the patient to assist a physician or physician assistant with examination, diagnosis, and treatment if the physician or physician assistant is prescribing, dispensing or administering buprenorphine to initiate treatment for opioid use disorder and the physician or physician assistant:

  • Is a Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) waivered practitioner;
  • Documents all attempts to conduct a physical examination and the reason why the examination cannot be performed; and
  • Requires urine or oral toxicology screening as part of the patient’s medication adherence plan.

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 12, Sec. 40.943 & Emergency Regulations made permanent (Accessed July 2021).

A physician is not subject to disciplinary sanctions for rendering a diagnosis, treatment or prescribing a prescription drug (except a controlled substance) without a physical examination if the physician or another health care provider or physician in the physician’s group practice is available for follow up care and the physician requests that the person consent to sending a copy of all records of the encounter to the person’s primary care provider.

If the above requirements are met, a physician may also prescribe a controlled substance or botulinum toxin when an appropriate licensed health care provider is present with the patient to assist the physician with examination, diagnosis and treatment.

SOURCE: Alaska Department of Commerce, Medical Statutes and Regulations March 2021. (Accessed July 2021).

Physicians are prohibited from prescribing medications based solely on a patient-supplied history received by telephone, FAX, or electronic format.

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 12, Sec. 40.967(27). (Accessed July 2021).

Last updated 07/29/2021

Professional Requirements

Medical Board

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 12, Sec. 40.943 (Accessed July 2021).

Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology

SOURCE: AK Admin. Code, Title 12, Sec. 07.020.(Accessed July 2021).