Telemedicine Benefits to Change for Texas Medicaid in 2018

Just as throwing a stone creates waves throughout a pond, Texas' new law on telemedicine services is causing ripples among the state’s health plans, including Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs).

At its core, Senate Bill 1107 defines a telemedicine visit as requiring the same standard of care as a patient/physician in-person visit. It also requires health plans to cover telemedicine services performed by a contracted physician. 

In response, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) recently announced that it will update several Medicaid related rules and benefits, including:

  • Patient and distant site guidelines;
  • Patient site presenter requirements;
  • Guidelines for valid prescriptions generated from telemedicine visit; and
  • Guidelines concerning the practitioner-patient relationship required for a telemedicine visit.

The changes are expected to go into effect in late summer of 2018, and other changes might be required, HHSC said.

SB 1107 was written by Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown), chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, with substantial input from TMA and testimony from TMA members. The House sponsor was Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo), chair of the House Public Health Committee.

Action, Dec. 15, 2017

Last Updated On

December 15, 2017

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