On July 25, 2018, the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities released proposed regulations that expand the use of telehealth services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Under the regulations, licensed practitioners at Article 16 clinics will be able to deliver services via interactive audio and video to individuals in their homes. In addition, telehealth services will be reimbursable by Medicaid and commercial insurance companies at rates comparable to those for in-person services.
The proposed rules provide greater access and convenience to individuals who may have difficulty obtaining a health care appointment or traveling to a health clinic. Agencies that serve individuals with disabilities report a growing inability to obtain timely appointments and hardship of transporting individuals to providers. Moreover, the expanded use of telehealth services is expected to provide some relief to the acute staffing shortages experienced by group homes. The regulations are consistent with the statutory changes made April 1, 2018.
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