Alabama Telemedicine Policy, Simplified.

Healthcare legislation is complicated. Let’s clarify a few things.

We strive to keep this information updated and current. It is intended to be an informative guide, and not a comprehensive legal resource. Always consult with your local team of experts and administrators.

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Alabama Telemedicine Policy

updated October 2019

 

Alabama Telemedicine Policy

Alabama continues to pave the way to broader telemedicine coverage.

Alabama was also one of the first states to join the Interstate Medical Licensing Compact, which allows physicians to consult out-of-state patients via telemedicine.

A spin-off of Alabama’s successful Patient 1st medical home model also uses home health nurses employed by the Department of Health to remotely monitor vital signs for patients with diabetes, hypertension, and congestive heart disease.

Ready to find out more about Alabama’s telemedicine policy? Check out our state guide below!

State Policy Overview

Medicaid
Private Payers
Parity

Additional state telemedicine information

  • Parity Laws

    Alabama enacted a partial parity law in 2016 covering mental health services.

  • Medicaid

    Alabama state Medicaid policy does not provide an explicit definition of “telemedicine.” Telemedicine services must be administered using an interactive audio/video system which facilitates two-way communication between the physician and the recipient. The connection must be “real time,” as opposed to a correspondence exchange.

  • Type of Telemedicine Covered

    Alabama Medicaid reimburses for live video, and will reimburse remote patient monitoring through the In-Home Monitoring ProgramThe following services are covered:

    • Consultations
    • Office and outpatient visits
    • Individual psychotherapy
    • Psychiatric diagnostic services
    • Neurobehavioral status examinations

  • Covered Health Services

    Alabama Medicaid reimburses for live video telemedicine for the following services:

    • Medical Consults
    • Office or other outpatient visits
    • Individual psychotherapy
    • Psychiatric diagnostic services
    • Neurobehavioral status exams

    For all telemedicine services, an appropriately trained staff member or employee familiar with the patient or the treatment plan must be immediately available in person to the patient.

    Under the Alabama Medicaid In-Home Monitoring Program, patients with the following medical conditions can get treatment via telemedicine:

    • Diabetes
    • Congestive Heart Failure

  • Eligible Healthcare Providers

    Not all healthcare providers can do telemedicine under Alabama Medicaid. Here’s the list of the eligible providers:

    • Physicians
    • Nurse Practitioners
    • Physician Assistants
    • Clinical Nurses
    • Clinical Psychologists

    Also, Medicaid requires physicians to enroll with the specialty of 931 (telemedicine). If you’re interested in doing telemedicine with your Medicaid patients, submit this form to Alabama Medicaid.

  • Online Prescriptions

    While the state of Alabama has no specific stated restrictions around prescribing based on telemedicine visits, state law says “prescribing drugs to an individual the prescriber has not personally examined is usually inappropriate.”

    Before prescribing a drug, the physician should make an informed medical judgment. Ordinarily, this will require that the physician personally perform an appropriate history and physical exam, make a diagnosis, and formulate a therapeutic plan, which might include a prescription.

  • Informed Patient Consent

    The state of Alabama requires providers to get a patient’s written informed consent before doing the first telemedicine visit. Medicaid atients are limited to 14 telemedicine visits.

    Read more about informed patient consent here.

  • Cross-State Telemedicine Licensing

    In May 2015, Alabama joined the Interstate Medical Licensing compact. The compact will help reduce licensing requirements across states and will allow physicians to consult patients via telemedicine outside their state lines.

  • Restrictions on Locations

    Luckily, Alabama doesn’t place many restrictions on where the patient and physician need to be located for the telemedicine visit. However, for rehabilitative services specifically, the originating site (where the patient is) must be:

    • Physician’s office
    • Hospital
    • Critical Access Hospital
    • Rural Health Clinic
    • Federally Qualified Health Center
    • Community mental health center (to include co-located sites with partnering agencies)
    • Public health department

  • Reimbursement Rates

    Telemedicine visits are reimbursed at the same rate as in-person visits.

  • Billing Codes

    Not sure how to bill for telemedicine? No problem. Alabama Medicaid covers telemedicine visits for the following CPT codes:

    • Consultations (99241-99245, 99251-99255)
    • Office or other outpatient visits (99201-99205, 99211-99215)
    • Individual psychotherapy (90804-90809)
    • Psychiatric diagnostic (90801)
    • Neurobehavioral status exam (96116)

    Remember to use your GT modifier! Alabama Medicaid requires you to use the appropriate CPT code along with the modifier GT, which stands for interactive audio and video telecommunications system.

    Want more details? Check out the Alabama Medicaid Handbook.

  • Helpful Resources

    We used the sites below to gather information for this guide. Check them out for more details on your state’s policy!

Additional resources to help you get started.

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