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Trending in Telehealth: December 21, 2023 – January 3, 2024
Friday, January 5, 2024

Trending in Telehealth highlights state legislative and regulatory developments that impact the healthcare providers, telehealth and digital health companies, pharmacists and technology companies that deliver and facilitate the delivery of virtual care.

Trending in the past week:

  • Behavioral health
  • Interstate compacts

Finalized Legislation & Rulemaking

  • Arkansas issued a final rule whereby certain assessments under the Arkansas Independent Assessment (ARIA) system may be performed via telemedicine. The ARIA system is used to perform a functional-needs assessment for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries served through one of the state’s waiver programs or state plan personal care services.
  • Mississippi issued a final rule, which adds Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Mississippi State Department of Health clinics to the list of Medicaid-covered providers for telehealth services. The final rule also clarifies that Medicaid would not cover physician or other practitioner visits through telehealth for Evaluation and Management Level IV or V visits.
  • New Jersey signed AB 5757 into law on December 31, 2023. This substitute bill amends Section 11 of P.L.2021, c.310 to extend the end date from December 31, 2023, to December 31, 2024, during which time a health benefits plan in New Jersey must extend coverage and payment parity for telehealth services. Healthcare services delivered to a covered person through telemedicine or telehealth must be covered at a rate equal to the in-person provider reimbursement rate, provided the services are otherwise covered by the health benefits plan when delivered in-person.
  • Washington, DC, issued a final rule updating Medicaid’s Assertive Community Treatment reimbursement methodology from a fee-for-service model to a monthly rate model. The new model requires eight (8) contacts with a consumer per calendar month. Three (3) of the required eight (8) contacts can be performed via . The Assertive Community Treatment program provides intensive, integrated, rehabilitative treatment and community-based to adults with serious and persistent mental illness.
  • Virginia joins the Counseling Licensure Compact, effective January 1, 2024. The authorizing bill was signed into law on March 27, 2023, with a delayed effective date.

Legislation & Rulemaking Activity in Proposal Phase

  • In New Jersey, AB 5311 passed the General Assembly with a vote of 73-0-0. If enacted, the bill would enter New Jersey into the Counseling Compact.
  • New Jersey’s General Assembly also passed SB 3604 with a vote of 74-0-0. The bill authorizes the use of healthcare platforms that provide discounted prices for payment of prescription and nonprescription drugs or devices and for telehealth and telemedicine services.

Why it matters:

  • There continues to be an increase in activity surrounding licensure compacts. States closed the year by adopting interstate compacts for a variety of professionals. In general, these state efforts ease the burdens of the licensing process and demonstrate a desire to facilitate multijurisdictional practice without giving up authority over professional licensure.
  • States continue to pass rules to increase access to behavioral health services. This week, Mississippi Medicaid added coverage for services provided by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Mississippi State Department of Health clinics. Washington, DC, also issued final rules permitting coverage for telehealth services under the Assertive Community Treatment reimbursement methodology.
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