State Telemedicine Policy Information

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Iowa Telemedicine Policy

Iowa Telemedicine Policy

Iowa is one of the most recent states to pass a parity law, although it will not take effect until January 1st, 2019. The new law states:

“[A] policy, contract, or plan providing for third-party payment or prepayment of health or medical expenses shall not discriminate between coverage benefits for health care services that are provided in person and the same health care services that are delivered through telehealth.”

This is great news for any Iowa healthcare provider interested in telemedicine. Parity laws require private payers to reimburse for telehealth services on the same basis as traditional in-person care. Similarly, Iowa passed a law in 2015 that ensures telehealth parity under Medicaid.

State Policy Overview

Medicaid

Yes

Private Payer

Yes

Parity

Yes

Additional State Telemedicine Info

Parity Laws

Iowa did recently pass a parity law, but it will not take effect until January 1st, 2019. The law will require private payers to cover telemedicine in the same way as in-person services. You can read more about the new law here. 

Medicaid

Iowa passed a new law in 2015 to guarantee telehealth parity under the state Medicaid program. Iowa Medicaid currently covers live-video telemedicine, but not store-and-forward or remote patient monitoring services.

Type Of Telemedicine Covered

In Iowa, the Medicaid program reimburses for certain medical conditions provided via live-video telehealth, but not remote patient monitoring or store-and-forward.

Covered Health Services

According to the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHPCA):

 

“Iowa Medicaid will pay for otherwise covered medical services if rendered via telemedicine and if the standard in the medical community would support rendering those services via telemedicine. CCHP has reached out to Iowa Medicaid staff, who have confirmed this practice in Iowa Medicaid, stating that a service rendered via telemedicine must meet the general provisions for Medicaid covered services outlined in 441 Iowa Administrative Code 79.9(2).”

Eligible Healthcare Providers

Iowa currently has no guidelines on the eligible healthcare providers for telehealth services.

Online Prescriptions

Healthcare providers are not allowed to prescribe drugs “solely on the basis of an Internet-based questionnaire, an Internet-based consult, or a telephone consult.” 

Informed Patient Consent

Iowa currently does not have any regulations requiring providers to get a patient’s consent for telemedicine. However, we usually still recommend this as a best practice. You can read more about how to do informed patient consent for telemedicine here.

Cross-State Telemedicine Licensing

Iowa has joined the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)’s Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which expedites the medical licensing process across state lines.

Restrictions On Locations

Iowa currently does not have any stated restrictions on the location of the patient at the time of the telemedicine encounter.

Reimbursement Rates

Under Iowa’s parity law, private payers and Medicaid are required to reimbursement telehealth at the same rates as services provided in-person.

Note that when billing Medicaid for telehealth, you should include the 02 POS code adopted by Medicare.

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