I. What Are Alaska Telemedicine Policies?

Alaska supports telemedicine. Normal requirements state that consultations take place over a live video link or using store-and-forward technology. Provided these conditions are met, your medical costs are covered by Medicaid and private insurers for new and renewed policies. Parity provisions apply to mental health services.

Medicaid Private payers Parity
Reimbursement for: All telehealth services Reimbursement for: Some telehealth services (videoconferencing, store-and-forward, and remote patient monitoring) Reimbursed at the same rate as in-person services

Parity Laws  

Alaska’s parity laws cover mental and physical health services, requiring private health insurers to cover telehealth services normally covered by in-person consultations. The state specifically mandates that you don’t need prior in-person consultations, and telemedicine services must be covered at the same rate as in-person services. Medicaid covers all telehealth services that are typically provided face-to-face.

Telemedicine consultations that fall under this umbrella include video consultations, store-and-forward consultations and remote patient monitoring services. To be covered, medical professionals must be currently registered in the state of Alaska, and you must be an Alaskan resident. Apart from that, there are no restrictions regarding the towns or settlements where you or your doctor are located. The type of telehealth technology used must comply with HIPAA requirements for maintaining customer privacy. 

Eligible Health Care Providers  

Alaska’s telemedicine regulations offer a comprehensive list of medical services that qualify for reimbursement. Medicaid and private insurers are required to cover the same services via telemedicine that they already cover in terms of person-to-person consultations. The legislation prohibits insurers from insisting on the use of a specific network of service providers or specific technology platforms.

Medical services should be appropriate for telemedicine. The following providers are covered:

  • Physicians
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Dermatologists
  • Pharmacologists
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Occupational and physical therapists
  • Audiologists
  • Registered dietitians or nutrition professionals
  • Podiatrists
  • Optometrists
  • Direct-entry midwife
  • Clinical social workers
  • Clinical nurse specialists

Online Prescriptions  

Alaska permits online prescriptions from a prescribing telemedicine physician provided the consultation complies with Alaska’s telemedicine guidelines. Access to medication in remote communities without a local pharmacy may be problematic. The Alaska Board of Pharmacy permits the establishment of remote pharmacies under certain conditions, the chief requirement being that there’s no retail pharmacy within 10 miles. You can get your prescription filled at a remote pharmacy with an online prescription. The on-site dispensing technician works under the supervision of a remote pharmacist.

II. Find an Online Doctor in Alaska

Finding an online doctor in Alaska may be a bit daunting at first, so here are some guidelines on how to find the right doctor for your needs. You can choose any doctor currently licensed in Alaska, rather than being limited to those in the nearest settlement or town. The first step is to get a list of prospective doctors by searching the internet, talking to friends, and speaking to your local clinic. Here’s what to look for:

  • Research credentials: You must verify that the doctor is currently licensed in Alaska. To do this, enter their details in the State of Alaska’s license database; you search by entering the doctor’s surname and city.
  • Determine your cost: In general, normal copay and deductible rules apply; you can expect to pay the same for telemedicine consultations as you would for a person-to-person consultation. Also, Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance must reimburse you at the same rate as for in-person consultations.
  • Read online doctor reviews: You can find out more about a doctor’s specialties by consulting online reviews. These can give you insight into what other patients think of the doctor and help you find out more information.

III. Research Our Alaska Telemedicine Sources

To find more information about telemedicine in Alaska, visit these sources.