The state Medicaid program is expanding the types of doctors and other medical providers it will reimburse for providing consultation to patients remotely.
In the past, Medicaid only reimbursed such telemedicine services for mental health consultation. Now the program will pay for other specialists as well. The patient must be in the office with their physician when the consultation is given.
The program is meant to provide better care in areas, such as rural parts of the states, where there is a shortage of specialists.
Community health center hospitals, health departments, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physicians and renal dialysis centers are among the providers eligible for reimbursement.
Under a rural part of the program, patients who live in certain counties can call providers for consultation. The counties considered rural are: Allegany, Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Garret, Kent, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Queen Anne's Worcester, Wicomico and Washington.
A cardiovascular disease and stroke component of the program allows providers to provide consultation from anywhere in the state, but the call must originate from a hospital emergency department.
The new program expands on telemedicine reimbursement first implemented in 2010.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun