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317:30-3-27.Telemedicine

[Revised 09-01-17]

(a) Definitions.  The following words and terms, when used in this Section, shall have the following meaning, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

(1)"Remote patient monitoring" means the use of digital technologies to collect medical and other forms of health data (e.g. vital signs, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar) from individuals in one location and electronically transmit that information securely to health care providers in a different location for assessment and recommendations.

(2)"Store and forward" means the acquisition (storing) of clinical information (e.g. data, document, image, sound, video) that is then electronically transmitted (forwarded to or retrieved by) to another site for clinical evaluation.

(3)"Telehealth" means the mode of delivering healthcare services via information and communication technologies to facilitate the diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, care management, and self-management of patients, at a distance from health care providers.

(b) Applicability and scope.  The purpose of this Section is to implement telehealth policy that improves access to health care services, while complying with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations. Telehealth services are not an expansion of SoonerCare covered services but an option for the delivery of certain covered services. However, if there are technological difficulties in performing an objective thorough medical assessment or problems in the member's understanding of telehealth, hands-on-assessment and/or in person care must be provided for the member. Any service delivered using telehealth technology must be appropriate for telehealth delivery and be of the same quality and otherwise on par with the same service delivered in person. A telehealth encounter must comply with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). For purposes of SoonerCare reimbursement telehealth is the use of interactive audio, video or other electronic media for the purpose of diagnosis, consultation or treatment that occur in real-time and when the member is actively participating during the transmission. Telehealth does not include the use of audio only telephone, electronic mail or facsimile transmission.

(c) Conditions.  The following conditions apply to all services rendered via telehealth .

(1) Interactive audio and video telecommunications must be used, permitting encrypted real-time communication between the physician or practitioner and the SoonerCare member. The telecommunication service must be secure and adequate to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the telehealth information transmitted. As a condition of payment the member must actively participate in the telehealth visit.

(2) The telehealth equipment and transmission speed and image must be technically sufficient to support the service billed. If a peripheral diagnostic scope is required to assess the member, it must provide adequate resolution or audio quality for decision making. Staff involved in the telehealth visit need to be trained in the use of the telehealth equipment and competent in its operation.

(3) The medical or behavioral health related service must be provided at an appropriate site for the delivery of telehealth services. An appropriate telehealth site is one that has the proper security measures in place; the appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards should be in place that ensures the confidentiality, integrity and security of electronic protected health information. The location of the room for the encounter at both ends should ensure comfort, privacy and confidentiality. Both visual and audio privacy are important, placement and selection of the rooms should consider this. Appropriate telehealth equipment and networks must be used considering factors such as appropriate screen size, resolution and security. Providers and/or members may provide or receive telehealth services outside of Oklahoma when medically necessary.

(4) The provider must be contracted with SoonerCare and appropriately licensed for the service to be provided. If the provider is outside of Oklahoma, the provider must comply with all laws and regulations of the provider's location, including health care and telehealth requirements.

(5) If the member is a minor child, a parent/guardian must present the minor child for telehealth services unless otherwise exempted by State or Federal law. The parent/guardian need not attend the telehealth session unless attendance is therapeutically appropriate.

(6) The member retains the right to withdraw at any time.

(7) All telehealth activities must comply with the HIPAA Security Standards, OHCA policy, and all other applicable State and Federal laws and regulations.

(8) The member has access to all transmitted medical information, with the exception of live interactive video as there is often no stored data in such encounters.

(9) There will be no dissemination of any member images or information to other entities without written consent from themember.

(d) Reimbursement.

(1) Health care services delivered by telehealth such as Remote Patient Monitoring, Store and Forward, or any other telehealth technology, must be compensable by OHCA in order to be reimbursed.

(2) Services provided by telehealth must be billed with the appropriate modifier.

(3) If the technical component of an X-ray, ultrasound or electrocardiogram is performed during a telehealth transmission, the technical component can be billed by the provider that provided that service. The professional component of the procedure and the appropriate visit code should be billed by the provider that rendered that service.

(4) The cost of telehealth equipment and transmission is not reimbursable by SoonerCare.

(e) Documentation.

(1) Documentation must be maintained by the rendering provider to substantiate the services rendered.

(2) Documentation must indicate the services were rendered via telehealth, and the location of the services.

(3) All other SoonerCare documentation guidelines apply to the services rendered via telehealth. Examples include but are not limited to:

(A) Chart notes;

(B) Start and stop times;

(C) Service provider's credentials; and

(D) Provider's signature.

(f) The OHCA has discretion and the final authority to approve or deny any telehealth services based on agency and/or SoonerCare members' needs.

Disclaimer. The OHCA rules found on this Web site are unofficial. The official rules are published by the Oklahoma Secretary of State Office of Administrative Rules as Title 317 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code. To order an official copy of these rules, contact the Office of Administrative Rules at (405) 521-4911.