Academy Health Report Addresses Medicaid Directors Perspective on Telehealth

Center for Connected Health Policy

May 2021

Views on telehealth since the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) began

In March 2021, Academy Health released a report detailing results from an environmental scan and discussions with Medicaid Medical Directors (MMDs) on their views on telehealth since the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) began. MMDs are physicians and clinical leaders in different specialties who advise Medicaid programs on clinical matters. During the pandemic, many have weighed in on telehealth and how it should be deployed in their states Medicaid program. The report breaks down views of Medicaid directors and resulting recommendations into three topic areas: Equity, Quality and Payment. Examples of recommendations made in the equity category include:

1. Medicaid programs should clearly communicate temporary telehealth policies and when those policies will expire.
2. Medicaid programs should support expansion of telehealth for purposes of equitable access if clinically appropriate and makes sense in terms of cost and quality.
3. Medicaid programs should work to reduce barriers to telehealth, including addressing the technology divide, digital literacy and underlying health disparities.

For more details and recommendations related to quality and payment, read the full report.