Telehealth guidance by state during COVID-19
State emergency orders relevant to licensed psychologists during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
While many states already had laws in place requiring commercial health plans and state Medicaid programs to cover telehealth services, the requirements were not universal and varied in the levels of service covered.
In response to the pandemic, some state Governors have issued emergency orders to increase access to telehealth services and to increase the pool of available health care providers.
Below, we provide answers to several important questions regarding telehealth policies by state during COVID-19.
It is important to note that the state-specific information below does not apply to Medicare, including information about trainees’ services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not cover services provided by supervised trainees to Medicare beneficiaries. This APA resource explains why. Information about how telehealth services may be delivered to Medicare beneficiaries during the public health emergency can be found on the APA Practice Information Hub.
We will continue to keep this resource updated regularly for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Government and payer policies in response to the coronavirus crisis are changing rapidly, so we recommend that you check our Practice Information Hub frequently.
Telehealth Coverage Mandate: A state law that prohibits insurers from refusing to cover a health care service because it was provided using telehealth if that same service is otherwise covered as an in-person service. There is some variability among state laws about what kinds of health plans are covered, what kinds of technologies are included in the definition of telehealth, what are eligible services and/or providers, whether coverage may be limited to an insurer’s in-network providers, and whether reimbursement parity is required.
Reimbursement Parity: A state policy requiring that the reimbursement rate for telehealth services be the same as comparable in-person services.
Originating Site: The location where the patient is at the time when telehealth services are delivered.
Distant Site: The location where the provider is at the time when telehealth services are delivered.
Licensure Waiver: State action temporarily suspending state-based licensing requirements for out-of-state licensed providers during the declaration of a public health emergency.
Status as of April 24, 2020
We prepared this page to quickly provide information to psychologists in this rapidly changing landscape. Because the law and related information continually change, we will strive to update the page weekly, so note the date stamp. Please email us with any updates.
Please note this document does not constitute legal advice. APA cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of this document, and we recommend that psychologists independently verify this information (partly by using the hyperlinks included) and consult with counsel in their state with appropriate experience before relying on or making decisions based on this information.