Medi-Cal is an extensive program offered by Medicaid. Currently, their services are available to over 13.5 million residents in California. They have been working on some new policies to enable them to increase reimbursement for telemedicine. They could not have done this at a better time. This is because there has been a shortage of doctors in the country. The practicing nurses and home care workers are also not as much.
With telemedicine, Medi-Cal can serve Californian citizens better. The program sees it as an efficient way to provide health care services using innovative communication and information technologies. This fosters the diagnosis of specific conditions and their treatment. Moreover, patients can access health education, consultation, and care management. They can even manage their health when their doctor is miles away.
Several policies were set regarding the provision of the reimbursed telemedicine services by Medi-Cal. They were put into effect on July 1, 2019, with the final plan being released by the Department of Health Care Services in August. Below are some of them:
Licensed Medi-Cal Providers Only
For one to offer the reimbursed telemedicine services to residents of California, they must be registered as Medi-Cal providers. On top of that, they must have a valid license to practice in California. This rule also applies to any non-physician medical providers in the state.
Unlike the previous Californian Medicare policy, this new one comes without any restrictions on where the consultation should be done. If you are a patient benefiting from a reimbursed telemedicine service, you do not need to head to a health center to access it. Instead, you can comfortably do it from your home. All you need to do is have Medi-Cal coverage and meet all the guidelines that are required for telehealth.
Under these new rules, health care providers cannot force their services on patients. They must be willing to get the services without coercion or blackmail. At the same time, the providers do not necessarily have to record any problem that they experience in an in-person visit. They also don’t have to state how a particular telehealth service is profitable.
It is important to note that Medi-Cal does not support all types of telemedicine. With the putting into effect of new policies, the program does not take care of any bills should a patient decide to buy a piece of telehealth equipment that the need. Also, providers who call them or send them emails do not get any compensation for it.
In addition to that, the guidelines do not allow them to pay for remote monitoring of patients to get health information through mobile phones or any other devices.