FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) –Recent legislation expands access to telehealth services in the Commonwealth, especially for Medicaid participants.
Senate Bill 112 passed the General Assembly in 2018, with an effective date of July 1, 2019.
The legislation allows a patient to remain in their home, or be present at a local health facility, and consult with a provider via video conference.
While the provider must be licensed in Kentucky, they are no longer required to be certified by a telehealth board. Medicaid reimbursement rates for telehealth are equal to the rates paid by insurers for an in-person visit.
“Our recent expansion in telehealth represents our commitment to expanding access to health care for all Medicaid beneficiaries, especially those located in our most rural communities,” said Carol Steckel, Commissioner of the Department for Medicaid Services.
“I believe that this effort is just the beginning,” she added. “We will continue to pursue innovative ways to link our communities to improve the health of the Commonwealth.”
The benefits of telehealth include reduced travel time for patients, more effective case management for chronic conditions, and increased access to providers, especially in rural areas.
To schedule a telehealth visit, a patient needs to contact their provider, just as they do for an in-person visit. Providers are tasked with ensuring telehealth services are delivered securely.
Kentucky’s telehealth program is developing a website to provide information and resources on policy and guidelines pertaining to telehealth. The portal should be available in July.
Additional information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov/.