Update on MH DHS guidelines for telemedicine

MN DHS released a bulletin notifying MN MA providers of some changes to the DHS DHS guidelines for telemedicine services.  It is notable that DHS has a narrow definition of “telemedicine” services – limits it only to “mental health services using two-way interactive video.”

DHS does authorize telemedicine services with the “same service thresholds, authorization requirements and reimbursement rates as services delivered face-to-face.”  DHS also authorizes telemedicine services provided by all mental health providers who are authorized to provide regular mental health services (except some programs, such as day treatment and residential treatment).  Therefore, “telemedicine” is not limited to physicians and other “medical” providers.

mhconcierge’s take: mental health professionals who want to expand their practice and  who are willing to invest some time in learning telemedicine/telehealth guidelines, and the expense of setting up a HIPAA-compliant 2-way video service will fill a need, especially in rural areas and for patients who have mobility or travel barriers.

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