Ohio Medicaid emergency rules on telehealth (3/16/20)
Ohio Medicaid emergency rules to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohioans
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), in partnership with the Governor’s Office, executed emergency rules to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohioans and their providers. These rules relax regulations so more people can be served safely in their homes, rather than needing to travel to health care providers’ facilities.
OhioMHAS’s emergency rule creates additional flexibilities in the agency’s regulations governing interactive videoconferencing. ODM’s emergency rule creates a new Medicaid telehealth rule that governs reimbursement policies for Medicaid providers rendering services through telehealth. Emergency rules do not follow the typical OAC rule review process because they are necessary to preserve the health and safety of the general public. Both rules will be in effect for 120 days and become effective on March 9, 2020, the date the Governor declared an emergency to exist.
ODM and OhioMHAS are implementing these emergency rules to expand access to medical and behavioral health services using telehealth. This action is being taken to give healthcare providers maximum flexibility as they shift as many services as possible away from in-person visits. In addition, to increasing access to care, these rules seek to also reduce pressure on Ohio hospitals.