State Telemedicine Policy Information
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Alaska Telemedicine Policy
Alaska Telemedicine Policy
Unlike most other states, Alaska’s Medicaid program covers many different types of telemedicine – including live video, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring. In fact, Alaska Medicaid earned the highest ranking from the American Telemedicine Association (ATA).
Although Alaska doesn’t have a telemedicine parity law in place yet (one is currently proposed for legislation), Alaska Medicaid’s telehealth coverage is one of the most expansive programs of its kind. Alaska also requires private payers to cover mental health services delivered over telemedicine.
State Policy Overview
Additional State Telemedicine Info
Although Alaska doesn’t have a telemedicine parity law yet, one is currently in the works. Additionally, the state has a partial parity law that provides some coverage for mental health services.
Alaska’s Medicaid program is one of the most comprehensive, covering live video, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring.
Type Of Telemedicine Covered
The State of Alaska defines telemedicine as “[…] the practice of healthcare delivery, […] using the transfer of medical data through audio, video, or data communications engaged in over two or more locations between providers who are physically separated from the patient or from each other.”
Since Alaska has many remote areas, this state’s telemedicine definitions are broader than in other states. Telemedicine is considered to be identical to “traditional” healthcare visits except for its innovative “mode of delivery.” Definitions include interactive video, store-and-forward methods, and self-monitoring applications.
Covered Health Services
The following basic health services are covered for telemedicine:
- Initial or one follow-up office visit
- Consultation made to confirm a diagnosis
- A diagnostic, therapeutic or interpretive service
- Psychiatric or substance abuse assessments
- Individual psychotherapy or pharmacological management services
For more details and list of exclusions, check your Alaska Medicaid manual.
Eligible Healthcare Providers
Alaska’s Medicaid program says you can practice telemedicine if you are a:
- Physician assistant
- Nurse practitioner
- Clinical nurse specialist
- Mental health professional
A physical examination is not necessary to prescribe drugs if:
- The prescription drug is not a controlled substance or a controlled substance is prescribed by a physician when an appropriately licensed health care provider is present
- The physician is located within the state and a physician or provider is available for follow up care
- The person consents to send a copy of all medical records from the appointment to their PCP
Alaska’s state law also prohibits doctors from prescribing medication based solely on a patient history provided electronically (without a corresponding interaction with the patient).
Informed Patient Consent
No consent requirements are stated or have been written into law.
Restrictions On Locations
Alaska does not currently have any restrictions on location.
Because there is not yet a parity law in Alaska, private payers are not required to reimburse telemedicine visits at the same rate as in-person services. However, Alaska does require private payers to cover mental health services via telemedicine. Additionally, many private payers do include telemedicine reimbursement for a range of medical services in their policies.
Not sure how to bill telemedicine? Don’t worry – we have the eligible CPT codes right here for you:
- Consultations (99241-99275)
- Office or other outpatient visits (99201-99215)
- Individual psychotherapy (90804-90809)
- Pharmacologic management (90862)
Use the GT modifier with the right CPT code when you’re billing for live telemedicine (video chat). And use the GQ modifier when you’re billing for store-and-forward telemedicine.
Want more details? Check out the Alaska Medicaid Handbook.