Arkansas Telehealth State Laws & Reimbursement Policies
Medicaid Telehealth Reimbursement
Arkansas Medicaid reimburses for live video when the telemedicine service is comparable to an in-person service. Store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring is included in Medicaid’s definition of telemedicine, but there was no specific information found regarding reimbursement of the modalities.
Telemedicine is defined as the use of electronic information and communication technology to deliver healthcare services including without limitation, the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of a patient. Telemedicine includes store-and-forward technology and remote patient monitoring.
Arkansas Medicaid provides payment to a licensed or certified healthcare professional or a licensed or certified entity for services provided through telemedicine if the service provided through telemedicine is comparable to the same service provided in-person.
Arkansas Medicaid must provide coverage and reimbursement for healthcare services provided through telemedicine on the same basis as they provide coverage and reimbursement for health services provided in-person.
Payment will include a reasonable facility fee to the originating site operated by a licensed or certified healthcare professional or licensed or certified healthcare entity if the professional or entity is authorized to bill Arkansas Medicaid directly for healthcare services. There is no facility fee for the distant site.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Once a professional relationship is established, the healthcare provider may provide healthcare services through telemedicine, including interactive audio, if the healthcare services are within the scope of practice for which the healthcare provider is licensed or certified and in accordance with the safeguards established by the healthcare professionals licensing board. The use of interactive audio is not reimbursable under Arkansas Medicaid.
Out of State Providers
A healthcare provider treating patients in Arkansas through telemedicine shall be fully licensed or certified to practice in Arkansas and is subject to the rules of the appropriate state licensing or certification board. This requirement does not apply to the acts of a healthcare provider located in another jurisdiction who provides only episodic consultation services.
The distant site provider is prohibited from utilizing telemedicine with a patient unless a professional relationship exists between the provider and patient. See manual for ways to establish the relationship.
Private Payer Laws
Telemedicine means the use of electronic information and communication technology to deliver healthcare services, including without limitation the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of a patient. Telemedicine includes store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring. Telemedicine does not include the use of audio-only communication including without limitation interactive audio; a facsimile machine; text messaging; or electronic mail systems.
A health plan shall cover the telehealth-delivered healthcare services on the same basis it would if the services were delivered in-person. A health benefit plan is not required to reimburse for a healthcare service provided through telemedicine that is not comparable to the same service provided in-person. A health benefit plan may voluntarily reimburse for healthcare services provided through means of telephone, facsimile, text message or electronic mail.
Health plans must reimburse “on the same basis” if the service were delivered in-person. A health benefit plan is not required to reimburse for a healthcare service provided through telemedicine that is not comparable to the same service provided in-person.
Professional Regulation/Health & Safety
“Telemedicine means the use of electronic information and communication technology to deliver healthcare services, including without limitation the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management and self-management of a patient. Telemedicine includes store-and-forward technology and remote patient monitoring.
A distant site provider will not utilize telemedicine to treat a patient located in Arkansas unless a professional relationship exists between the healthcare provider and the patient or as otherwise meets the definition of a professional relationship as defined in Section 17-80-402.
Cross State Licensing
An out-of-state physician utilizing an electronic medium who performs an act that is part of a patient care service that was initiated in Arkansas, including interpretation of an X-ray, that would affect the diagnosis or treatment, is engaged in the practice of medicine and subject to regulation by the Arkansas State Medical Board.
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