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Medicaid Expands In-Home Telemedicine Services for Medicaid Beneficiaries in Response to COVID-19

Saturday, March 14, 2020

(Washington, DC) Today, the DC Department of Health Care Finance announced emergency and proposed rulemaking for Medicaid providers who can now deliver in-home healthcare services via telemedicine. DHCF is proposing this change to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of residents are not threatened by a lapse of in-person access to covered healthcare services due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). This policy change was adopted on March 12, 2020 and updates reimbursement requirements to allow Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services via telemedicine at their home.

Telemedicine is a two-way, real-time, interactive video-audio communication used to evaluate, diagnose, consult and treat healthcare beneficiaries. DHCF anticipates that beneficiaries, using smartphones and other consumer electronic devices, will work with their providers to access telemedicine services. Any Medicaid provider who is delivering healthcare services via telemedicine must continue to follow patient consent requirements and ensure care is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and other applicable laws.

This policy change:

  • Allows Medicaid beneficiaries to receive telemedicine services at their home.
  • Requires Medicaid telemedicine providers to ensure that any technology used meets the standards of care when the beneficiary receives telemedicine services at their home.

The rule will be subsequently published in the DC Register and will remain in effect for one hundred and twenty (120) days or until July 10, 2020, unless superseded by publication of a Notice of Final Rulemaking in the DC Register.

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