Rhode Island 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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Rhode Island Telemedicine Policy

updated October 2019

Rhode Island Telemedicine Policy

Rhode Island approved a telemedicine parity law in 2016 that requires private payers to cover telehealth services in the same way as in-person services. Prior to this, practicing telemedicine in Rhode Island was a bit tricky, but recent legislation is making it easierfor providers to utilize technology to help treat their patients.

State Policy Overview

Private Payers

Additional state telemedicine information

  • Parity Laws

    Rhode Island passed a parity law in 2016 that requires private payers to cover telemedicine services to the same extent that services are covered via in-person care.

    However, there is no payment parity which means plans are not required to pay providers at the same reimbursement rate for identical telemedicine-based or in-person services by law. Most companies do still tend to reimburse at the same rate.

  • Medicaid

    Rhode Island Medicaid does not have much of a telemedicine policy outlined yet, but does reimburse for several telehealth service CPT codes related to follow-up inpatient consultations. You can view the full list of codes here.

  • Type of Telemedicine Covered

    In Rhode Island, telemedicine does not include an audio-only telephone conversation, email message or facsimile transmission between the provider and patient.

    The law does include live video reimbursement as well as store-and-forward reimbursement. 

  • Covered Health Services

    Because of Rhode Island’s parity law, a health insurer cannot exclude a health care service for coverage solely because the health care service is provided through telemedicine and is not provided through in-person consultation or contact.

  • Eligible Healthcare Providers

    Rhode Island does not limit which healthcare providers can practice telemedicine.

  • Online Prescriptions

    Rhode Island does not have any regulations about prescribing medications via telehealth.

  • Informed Patient Consent

    Telemedicine-specific informed patient consent is only required for email or text-based communications between patients and physicians. You can read more about our consent best practices here.

  • Cross-State Telemedicine Licensing

    Rhode Island allows out-of-state physicians to consult with Rhode Island physicians via telemedicine. Out-of-state physicians can also treat patients when there is an existing relationship.

    Rhode Island has not yet joined the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, which helps to expedite the licensing process for out-of-state physicians.

  • 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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