Medicaid Telehealth has emerged as a crucial component in extending and facilitating access for individuals with behavioral health needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of telehealth to deliver healthcare services safely and effectively. A recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), which surveyed state Medicaid officials across 44 states in the US, including the District of Columbia, revealed an increased interest in permanently adopting pandemic-era telehealth policy expansions.
The survey results showed that behavioral health, particularly mental health, remained a top service category in the state fiscal year (FY) 2022. This is supported by data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which confirms the increased access and utilization of behavioral health services during the pandemic. This increase in telehealth utilization led to an uptick in outpatient Medicaid visits for behavioral health services. However, the pandemic also brought a decline in in-person utilization of mental health outpatient services, highlighting the ongoing need for telehealth as a viable alternative.
The survey demonstrates the importance of telehealth for Medicaid to improve access to behavioral health services for individuals enrolled in Medicaid. The findings indicate that many states are seeking permanent adoption of telehealth policy expansions, which have the potential to improve access to behavioral health services and reduce healthcare disparities for vulnerable populations.
The KFF’s Behavioral Health Survey Of Medicaid Telehealth Programs Asked The Following Questions
To gain a deeper understanding of the trends and policies surrounding the delivery of behavioral health services via telehealth, the survey sought to answer the following key questions:
- What measures have states implemented to extend telehealth coverage for behavioral health care during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What have been the observed trends in utilizing telehealth services for behavioral health among states?
- What are the significant concerns to consider in the future of telehealth delivery for behavioral…
From Telebehavioral Health Institute – Read More