Governor Issues Executive Order Expanding Telehealth for Medicaid During Emergency
Order issued to help relieve pressure on EDs and hospitals
Ohio ACEP leaders met by conference call with representatives from the Governor’s office and State Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran on Sunday, March 15 to work on emergency rules allowing the expanded use of telemedicine in Ohio. Yesterday, the Governor issued an executive order to expand access to medical and behavioral health services using telehealth. The order is intended to allow more patients to get their needed treatment or counseling without compromising social distancing guidelines. Expanded telehealth will help to "flatten the curve" and ease additional strain on emergency departments. Today, the emergency rules were filed and are effective immediately.
Pertinent to Ohio’s emergency physicians, the rules eliminate any limitation for patient or physician location, and do allow for the billing of CPT codes 99281-99285.
These rules complement the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare telehealth waiver announced earlier this week, though CMS is recommending outpatient codes.
While commercial payers are not covered by the rules governing Medicare and Medicaid, there are indications that many might be inclined to follow suit in this time of national emergency.
In an effort to keep our members and all Ohio emergency physicians up-to-date and prepared for COVID-19, Ohio ACEP has compiled a webpage of informational resources, available at ohacep.org/COVID19. There, you’ll find guidance and updates from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Department of Health & Human Servies (HHS), the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and National ACEP, as well as recent news related to the spread of coronavirus.