Alaska State Telehealth Laws and Reimbursement Policies

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Connected Health Policy 2020: http://cchpca.org

Alaska Medicaid

Alaska

Medicaid Program: Alaska Medicaid

Program Administrator: Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance

Regional Telehealth Resource Center:

Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center
101 Wasatch Drive

Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(833) 747-0643
www.nrtrc.org

STATE LAW/REGULATIONS MEDICAID PROGRAM

Definition of telemedicine/telehealth

“Telemedicine means the practice of health care delivery, evaluation, diagnosis, consultation, or treatment, using the transfer of medical data through audio, video, or data communications that are engaged in over two or more locations between providers who are physically separated from the patient or from each other.”

Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 12.449 (2012).

“Alaska Medicaid will pay for telemedicine services delivered in the following manner:

Interactive method: Provider and patient interact in ‘real time’ using video/camera and/or dedicated audio conference equipment.

Store-and-forward method: The provider sends digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video to a consulting provider at a different location. The consulting provider reviews the information and reports back his or her analysis.

Self-monitoring method: The patient is monitored in his or her home via a telemedicine application, with the provider indirectly involved from another location.”

Source: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Community Behavioral Health Services, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment, Hospice Care, Inpatient Psychiatric Services, Independent Laboratory Services, Appendices. (Accessed Oct. 2017).

Telemedicine is identical to a “traditional” health- care visit except it uses a different “mode of delivery;” with telemedicine, the healthcare provider and the patient are not in the same physical location. Instead, providers use telemedicine applications, such as video, audio, and/or digitized image transmissions, to link the patient and the provider.

There are two primary telemedicine methods, or applications: Interactive and store-and-forward. With the interactive method, video/camera equipment and/or audio equipment is used to hold a “real-time” (live) consultation between a patient and a healthcare provider at a different location. The store-and-forward method, however, requires healthcare providers to send digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video to another provider at a different location. This “consulting” provider then reviews the information and reports his or

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STATE LAW/REGULATIONS MEDICAID PROGRAM

her findings to the provider who sent the information.
Source: State of AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska
Medical Assistance Provider Billing Manuals for Tribal Facility
Services. Updated 6/4/13. (Accessed Oct. 2017).

Live Video Reimbursement

(See Medicaid column) Alaska’s Medicaid program will reimburse for services
“provided through the use of camera, video, or
dedicated audio conference equipment on a real-time
basis”
Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.625(a) (2012).
Alaska Medicaid will pay for a covered medical service
furnished through telemedicine application if the service
is:
Covered under traditional, non-telemedicine
methods;
Provided by a treating, consulting, presenting or
referring provider;
Appropriate for provision via telemedicine
Eligible services:
Initial or one follow-up office visit;
Consultation made to confirm diagnosis
A diagnostic, therapeutic or interpretive service
Psychiatric or substance abuse assessments;
Individual psychotherapy or pharmacological
management services.
Source: AK Dept of Health and Social Svcs., AK Alaska Medical
Assistance Provider Billing Manuals, Section1: Physician,
Advance Nurse Practitioner, MHPC, Therapies, Audiology, School
Based Services, Physician Assistant, RBRS, SBS, Tribal, Vision:
Services, Policies and Procedures, (Accessed Oct. 2017) & AK
Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.630.
No reimbursement for:
Home and community-based waiver services;
Pharmacy;
Durable medical equipment;
Transportation;
Accommodation services;
End-stage renal disease;
Direct-entry midwife;
Private duty nursing;
Personal care assistants;
Visual care, dispensing or optician services;
Technological equipment and systems
associated with telemedicine application.
Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.635 (2012) & AK Dept of
Health and Social Svcs., AK Alaska Medical Assistance Provider
Billing Manual, Section1: Physician, Advance Nurse Practitioner,

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STATE LAW/REGULATIONS MEDICAID PROGRAM

Physician Assistant: Services, Policies and Procedures,
(Accessed Oct. 2017)

Store and Forward Reimbursement

(See Medicaid column) Alaska Medicaid will reimburse for services delivered
through store -and-forward.
Source: AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical
Assistance Provider Billing Manual, Section1: Physician,
Advance Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant: Services,
Policies and Procedures, (Accessed Oct. 2017)
To be eligible for payment under store-and-forward the
service must be “provided through the transference of
digital images, sounds, or previously recorded video
from one location to another to allow a consulting
provider to obtain information, analyze it, and report
back to the referring provider.”
Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.625(a) (2012).

Remote Patient Monitoring Reimbursement

(See Medicaid column) Alaska Medicaid will reimburse for services delivered
through self-monitoring.
Source: AK Dept of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical
Assistance Provider Billing Manual, Section1: Physician,
Advance Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant: Services,
Policies and Procedures, (Accessed Oct. 2017)
To be eligible for payment under self-monitoring or
testing, “the services must be provided by a
telemedicine application based in the recipient’s home,
with the provider only indirectly involved in the provision
of the service.”
Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.625(a) (2012).

Email/Phone/FAX

(see Medicaid column) No reimbursement for telephone.
No reimbursement for FAX.
Source: AK Dept. of Health and Social Svcs., Alaska Medical
Assistance Provider Billing Manual, Section1: Physician,
Advance Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant: Services,
Policies and Procedures, (accessed Oct. 2017)
Reimbursement for phone, only if part of a dedicated
audio conference system.
No reimbursement for FAX.
Source: AK Admin Code, Title 7, 110.625 (2012).

Online Prescribing

Recently Adopted Regulation (Now Effective) No reference found.
The guiding principles for telemedicine practice in the
American Medical Association (AMA), Report 7 of the
Council on Medical Service (A-14), Coverage of and

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STATE LAW/REGULATIONS MEDICAID PROGRAM

Payment for Telemedicine, dated 2014, and the
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), Model
Policy for the Appropriate Use of Telemedicine
Technologies in the Practice of Medicine, dated April
2014, are adopted by reference as the standards of
practice when providing treatment, rendering a
diagnosis, prescribing, dispensing, or administering a
prescription or controlled substance without first
conducting an in-person physical examination.
Source: AK 12 AAC 40.943
A physician is not subject to disciplinary sanctions for
rendering a diagnosis, treatment or prescribing a
prescription drug (except a controlled substance) without
a physical examination if the physician or another health
care provider is available for follow up care and the
physician requests that the person consent to sending a
copy of all records of the encounter to the person’s
primary care provider.
The AK Medical Board is required to adopt regulations
that establish guidelines for a physician who is rendering
a diagnosis, treatment or prescribing without conducting
a physical exam.
Source: AK Statute, Sec. 08.64.364 (SB 74 – 2016).
Physicians are prohibited from prescribing medications
based solely on a patient-supplied history received by
telephone, FAX, or electronic format.
Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 12, Sec. 40.967.

Consent

No reference found. No reference found.

Location

No reference found. No reference found.

Cross-State Licensing

No reference found. No reference found.

Private Payers

Private payers required to provide coverage for mental No reference found.
health benefits provided through telemedicine.
Source: AK Statute, Sec. 21.54.102 (HB 234 – 2016).

Site/Transmission Fee

No reference found. The department will pay only for professional services

for a telemedicine application of service. The
department will not pay for the use of technological
equipment and systems associated with a telemedicine
application to render the service.

© 2017 Public Health Institute Center for Connected Health Policy

STATE LAW/REGULATIONS MEDICAID PROGRAM

Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 110.635(b) (2012).

Community Behavioral Health Services

The department will pay a community behavioral health
services provider for facilitation of a telemedicine
session if:

The Telemedicine communication equipment is

supplied by the provider;

The electronic connection used by the treating

provider and the recipient are established and
maintained by the provider;

The provider remains available during the

telemedicine session to reestablish failed
connection before the intended end of the

telemedicine session; and

The provider documents in the recipient’s

clinical record a note summarizing the
facilitation of each telemedicine session
(although the facilitating provider is not required
to document a clinical problem or treatment goal
as these are to be documented by the treating
provider).

This service may be rendered to the following eligible

recipients:

Child or adult experiencing a substance use

disorder or emotional disturbance

Adult experiencing a serious mental illness

Source: AK Admin. Code, Title 7, 135.290.

Miscellaneous

The Department of Commerce, Community and

Economic Development is required to adopt regulations
for establishing and maintaining a registry of businesses
performing telemedicine in the state.

Source: AK Statute, Sec. 44.33.381. (SB 74 – 2016).

See business registry regulations for more details.

Source: AK Admin Code. Sec. 600, Article 5.

Comments: Alaska and Hawaii are the only two states with Medicare coverage of store and forward services.

Professional Board Telehealth-Specific Regulations

Medical Board (AK 12 AAC 40.943)

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