Certain Medicaid and CHIP services may soon be delivered using telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only methods on an ongoing basis. This includes services that have been made available through telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only methods during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) as well as other services.
With input from advisory committees and other stakeholders, HHSC staff are evaluating services to determine whether this method of delivery is cost-effective and clinically appropriate.
This work will be completed in phases and will continue throughout 2022. You can find additional information about HHSC’s evaluation framework here.
Submit Feedback to HHSC
Rules and medical policy changes will be happening in 2022 with opportunities for stakeholder input and feedback, including a formal comment period. We will post about these opportunities here.
If you have general questions or comments about Medicaid and CHIP teleservices, please e-mail HHSC_MCS_House_Bill_4@hhs.texas.gov.
Phase I: Analysis - Winter 2022
- HHSC will release guidance about certain services that are approved for telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only delivery methods on an ongoing basis.
- HHSC will begin releasing draft rules and other policy updates.
Phase II: Analysis - Spring 2022
- HHSC will ask stakeholders for input about additional services that were available for remote delivery during the PHE to help determine whether permanent telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only delivery methods would be cost-effective and clinically appropriate.
- HHSC will release guidance about additional services that are approved for telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only delivery methods.
Phase III: Rulemaking - Summer 2022
- Rules required by legislation will be posted for public comment.
Phase IV: Finalizing Policy -Fall 2022
- HHSC expects to finalize formal policy changes after providing an opportunity for stakeholder input on posted rules and policies. Guidance will be posted on this website when available.
House Bill (HB) 4 (87th Legislative Session, 2021):
HHSC allowed the use of telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only for many new Medicaid services during the COVID-19 PHE. In response, this bill requires HHSC to allow more services to be delivered using telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only methods on a permanent basis after the PHE ends if clinically appropriate and cost-effective.
Senate Bill (SB) 670 (86th Legislative Session, 2021):
MCOs have the responsibility to determine which services could be delivered through telemedicine, telehealth, and audio-only methods.
MCOs cannot deny reimbursement to health care providers for a Medicaid service or procedure just because it was delivered via telemedicine or telehealth. MCOs also cannot deny or reduce reimbursement for a Medicaid service or procedure if the health care provider or member chooses to receive the service via telemedicine or telehealth.
Opportunities for Public Comment
Notices and Policy Updates Published
- TMHP bulletin titled Synchronous Audiovisual Technology Telemedicine and Telehealth Services for Healthy Texas Women (HTW) posted on January 18, 2022
- TMHP bulletin titled HB4: Interim Guidance for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy Services Delivered by Synchronous Audiovisual posted on January 18, 2022
- TMHP bulletin titled HB4: Behavioral Health Services Delivered by Synchronous Audio-visual or Telephone (Audio-only) Interim Guidance posted on January 19, 2022
- HHSC Information Letter No. 2022-08, HB4: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy Services Delivered by Synchronous Audio-Visual posted on January 24, 2022