|Reimbursement for: All live telemedicine services, including telephone only||Reimbursement for: All live telemedicine services, including telephone only and some telehealth services||Reimbursed at the same rate as in-person services|
Parity laws ensure the equal treatment of entities over which they govern. Arkansas’ new law mandates that health insurance companies cover telemedicine appointments at the same rates as in-person visits, so there is no economic loss to doctors who offer these services to their patients. That’s great news for you because more doctors will make this a regular part of their practices, giving you more options.
Arkansas Medicaid only reimburses live, electronic two-way communication, whether it is a live video or over the telephone. Arkansas requires private health insurance companies to cover live video and two-way telephone communication. The state allows physicians licensed by the state to provide telemedicine appointments. Temporary licenses to practice medicine through telemedicine were issued to border states through an executive order at the height of the early days of the pandemic, but those licenses have since expired.
Arkansas does not have any specific regulations covering the types of health care providers who are eligible for telemedicine reimbursement. Still, they must be licensed or certified to practice in the state. Due to this stipulation, unlicensed psychology and other specialty interns are not eligible to provide telemedicine.
The following is a list of the types of providers eligible for telemedicine appointments, but it is not exhaustive:
Occupational and physical therapists
To prescribe medications, a doctor must first provide a live, two-way consultation comparable to an in-person visit. Physicians who prescribe controlled substances under schedules II through V must see the patient in-person before prescribing these substances during a telemedicine appointment unless the appointment is a consultation or referral. Medical marijuana certification requires an in-person consultation, as does the initial administration of abortion-inducing drugs.
Because of telemedicine’s appeal, most health providers offer some form of remote service. You can contact the offices of local health providers in your area to find out what telehealth services they provide, especially for doctors who have practices in rural areas. Make sure your online doctor is licensed to practice in Arkansas to qualify for telemedicine insurance reimbursement.
To find more information about telemedicine services in Arkansas, check out our sources.