As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the nation, states are taking sweeping actions to restrict individuals from congregating and encouraging self-quarantine to flatten the curve of the virus. One of the key strategies in this effort is using telehealth – allowing individuals to receive virtual care – which can reduce the spread of the virus and expand health care capacity by keeping potentially ill individuals in their homes, reducing exposure of health care workers, and reducing the number of people needing care in facilities.
To date, at least 51 states and territories have already taken some steps to increase access to telehealth services by increasing the types of reimbursable covered services, reducing consumer costs, reducing participation requirements and barriers for providers, and increasing the modalities through which services may be offered. However, there are many variations across states regarding implementation approaches depending on existing authorities, including gubernatorial authority, regulation, and legislation (where necessary). The following considerations reflect opportunities for state activity.
All NGA coronavirus memos can be found here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for current information on actions States/Territories are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic; as well as advocacy, policy, and guidance documents for protecting public health and the economy.