The Minnesota Department of Human Services has expanded Medicaid coverage to include telerehab.

Telemedicine is defined as the delivery of health care services while the patient is at one site, and the licensed health provider is at another, distant site.  The law also covers some rehabilitation services that are typically conducted face to face.

Lawmakers approved reimbursement for telerehab services provided by speech-language pathologists/assistants, physical therapists/assistants, occupational therapists/assistants, and audiologists over a secure, encrypted channel.

To qualify for reimbursement, health providers must meet all the conditions of the Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP) telemedicine policy.  These conditions include established procedures to address patient safety, quality assurance processes to maintain HIPAA compliance, and criteria for determining that telemedicine is the most appropriate and effective means to deliver care.

Under the law, Medicaid can provide reimbursements for both client and patient interactive sessions and transmission of medical information for later review by a physician.

As a condition of payment, each occurrence of a telerehab service must have documentation of service provided, description of why telemedicine was the appropriate means for patient care, mode of transmission, and location of both patient and provider.

Although 47 state Medicaid programs currently reimburse for telehealth in some capacity, only a handful cover telerehab services.  Minnesota is one of four states that reimburses for live video, “store-and-forward,” and remote patient monitoring.1

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